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.  In 2021, the program will be a mix of in person and online (to be determined along the way).

Wondering if you’re eligible? Read more.

Applications Closed


Information Sessions

We highly recommend anyone interested in the SMARTstart Program attend an information session to learn about the program and ask any questions you may have. All information sessions for this year are complete but please watch this video to learn more.

Click here for video


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 Jotform   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 look here: SMARTstart Application Questions.
  • 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.

Deadline midnight December 16, 2020.  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 2021 program (late February – October 2021).

Application Process

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

If you have questions, contact us.


Applications Open October 19, 2020
Information Sessions November 3 & 24, 2020 (online)
Application Deadline December 16, 2020
Selection Process January 2021
Applicants Notified Early February 2021
Program Begins Orientation Session February, Launch Event Late February
In-Person Seminars March-June and September-October 2021
Online Learning March-July 2021
Draft Plan Submitted June 2021
Final Plan Submitted October 2021
Celebration Event/Program Ends Late October/Early November 2021