We wish everyone could join SMARTstart. But, due to the popularity of the program,
that’s just not the case.


Applications to the program are accepted in the Fall of each year, for the following year’s program. Each year there are up to 20 spots available.

Wondering if you’re eligible? Read more.

Applications are now closed.



Application Process & Tips

  • First, ensure you are eligible to participate in the program and can meet the program commitments.
  • Complete the online application form via Jotforms   Paper applications are not accepted.
  • Be sure to complete all sections of the form. Be as descriptive and thorough as possible. To see a list of questions ask on the application click here: 2019 SMARTstart Application Questions handout.
  • Include supporting materials: resume, business plan draft, market research, pitch video, etc.
  • You will be notified that we have received your application.
  • A committee made up of business advisors, mentors, bankers and program organizers review all applications. Applications are evaluated on criteria, not first come, first serve.
  • You may be called for an interview (see timelines).
  • If you have questions, contact us.

2020 Application are now closed.
Late applications will not be accepted.


Interested in mentoring? SMARTstart requires up to 20 enthusiastic and experienced business owners each year. Many of our mentors return year after year.

We are currently recruiting mentors for the 2020 program (late February – October 2020).

Application Process

Ready to help make a difference for a local entrepreneur?
Mentor Application Form

If you have questions, contact us.


Applications Open November 1, 2019
Information Sessions November 6, 20 and December 4,  2019
Application Deadline December 13, 2019
Selection Process January 2020
Applicants Notified Early February 2020
Program Begins Orientation Session February, Launch Event March
In-Person Seminars March-June and September-October 2020
Online Learning March-July 2020
Draft Plan Submitted June 2020
Final Plan Submitted October 2020
Celebration Event/Program Ends Late October/Early November 2020