Meaningful innovation requires more than just capital. That’s why we’ve carefully curated the people, programs and resources to help startups of all phases refine the business model, create a product that is market-ready and ultimately connect to customers and investors.


Have a startup idea? Looking to get into a top Accelerator? Want to find out what it takes for a successful capital raise?

The Venture Center's Pre-Accelerator is a 12-week business bootcamp held in the spring and fall in which participants create a minimum viable product, gain customer validation and accelerate their path to viability—and is the starting point for any serious business founder. 

 Pre-Accelerator Alum, Corey Boelkens Pitching RaftUp

During the Pre-Accelerator, sessions are held Mondays starting at 5:30 p.m. 

We'll give you strategies to develop a minimum viable product (MVP), construct a scalable business model, gain traction and generate revenue, so you are ready to take the next step. Whether that means applying to an accelerator, pitching to investors or completely pivoting, The Venture Center's Pre-Accelerator will help set you on your proper course.

Instructors of the program are serial entrepreneurs and industry experts with a wide variety of experience. You also receive full access to our Pre-Accelerator digital portal which contains a robust library of video and digital training resources. In addition to the weekly seminar, you'll have guided support and supplementary mentoring and instruction covering targeted areas of business development. 

Experts, investors and trainers will help you to hone your investor pitch. The program culminates in an opportunity for you to pitch your idea before a gathering of local business leaders at the Pre-Accelerator Pitch Showcase which is open to the community.



Weekly Expectations 

  • 3 hours of facilitated instruction
  • 1 hour mentorship (minimum)
  • 2-5 hours working on deliverables

Our curriculum covers topics like:

  • The Lean Startup and Lean Canvas methodology
  • Building a Great Product
  • Market Research & Customer Acquisition
  • Business Model & Revenue Model + Presentation
  • Design Thinking, UI/UX & Branding
  • Culture, Legal & IP
  • Tax, Accounting & Finance
  • Marketing and PR
  • Sales Strategies 
  • Key Performance Indicators
  • Caps Table, Funding Strategy & Due Diligence
  • Company Strategy, Pitching Best Practices


When/Where: Twelve weekly seminars that begin in January or September. Classes are held Monday evenings at 5:30 p.m. at The Venture Center, located inside the Little Rock Technology Park at 417 Main Street in downtown Little Rock.

Commitment: The Pre-Accelerator weekly seminar lasts from 5:30-8:30 p.m. In addition, there are deliverables which will help you prepare effectively for launching and scaling your business. You may also take advantage of weekly mentorship sessions and supplementary training. Like anything, what you get out of it will be largely dependent on what you put in to it. The Pre-Accelerator is specifically designed to allow you to continue your job and validate your idea, market and product in a way that is strategic and effective.

Opportunity: The Venture Center's Pre-Accelerator is the first step to prepare you for seeking investment.  Although we do not guarantee investment, several member businesses of The Venture Center have secured investment following our proven method and under the guidance of our Mentor program.

Unlike many incubators or accelerators, The Venture Center does NOT take equity in any of the Pre-Accelerator companies.

Process: After you complete the application, you'll be prompted to schedule an interview. Once selections have been made, you will be notified by email. 

Is the Pre-Accelerator right for me?
The Venture Center's Pre-Accelerator is for early-stage or first-time entrepreneurs who are serious about building a scalable, repeatable and investable business.

    Is there a tuition fee for the Pre-Accelerator program?
    There is no risk to explore the opportunity. Apply and schedule an interview to determine that the Pre-Accelerator is the right investment for you. The investment is only $1,050 per team* and includes annual membership to The Venture Center ($750 for existing members). You'll also receive:

    • Full access to online supplemental materials so you can make the most of the Pre-Accelerator.
    • Targeted, personalized coaching to help you craft the perfect investor pitch.
    • UNLIMITED mentoring sessions throughout the duration of the program.
    • Access to workspace and meeting space at The Venture Center during business hours.
    • Access to special workshops/training throughout the program.
    • Exclusive networking opportunities throughout the year plus our weekly Lift the Rock program.
    • Premium professional and technical development programming. 
    • Discounted rates for JOLT, Catalyst and other special programs throughout the year. 
    • On-site Gigabit wifi access from Hyperleap by Broadband Development Group.
    • Discounts on downtown parking & other services.
    • Our member only newsletter—be the first to know what is happening in the entrepreneur community.
    • Access to additional mentor sessions after the program's completion (three for $99).

    What makes it worth the investment?
    Our proven method provides you with a strategic approach to building your business. In addition to a thorough, intensive and interactive curriculum, you have full access to The Venture Center's world class Mentors, with unlimited mentorship sessions for the duration of the program.

    *For the purposes of the Pre-Accelerator program, each team is limited to two people. If you are interested in participating with a larger group, or have more than two co-founders who wish to participate, additional fees may be incurred. Contact founders@venturecenter.co for more information.


    go for it

    If you've ever wanted to take that idea that's been milling about in your head and turn it into a viable business, don't miss out on this great opportunity. Tuition for existing members of The Venture Center is only $750 per team; non members tuition is $1,050 per team and includes membership for up to two founders.