MCCC's Karen A. Stout Start-Up Accelerator Fund

MCCC’s Karen A. Stout Start-Up Accelerator Fund to Award
Second Round of Funds to Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Application Deadline is October 9, 2016

Advice Heading PictureThanks to Montgomery County Community College’s Karen A. Stout Start-Up Accelerator Fund, alumnus Jeremiah DeLeon is on the verge of achieving his lifelong dream of launching a successful start-up. The Fund, established earlier this year to provide funding to promising business ventures, chose DeLeon’s company, Align Team LLC, as one of four winners during its pilot round of competition.

Now, the Fund is calling on aspiring entrepreneurs to submit applications for its second round of competition, which will disburse up to $72,000 by mid-winter to the winning projects. Interested parties should apply online at by the deadline of October 9, 2016.

“Growing up, I always had great business ideas, but I didn’t have the connections to make them happen,” said DeLeon, Liberal Arts ’15. “That’s why I created Align, an app that connects entrepreneurs. We were thrilled to receive an award from the Accelerator Fund, which is helping us launch the app globally and promote it through video and at conferences.”

Named after MCCC President Emerita Karen Stout, the Fund provides grants of roughly $1,000 to $20,000. In addition to Align, it has granted awards to three other ventures:

  • oLIVE Devices LLC manufactures “smart eyeglasses” that translate speech to text for the hard of hearing.
  • Through Guide U, small businesses that offer a free Wi-Fi hotspot can advertise to the consumers who use their Wi-Fi.
  • An MCCC Foundation endeavor, Eat to Educate seeks to raise scholarship money by selling retail food items to the community, alumni, and friends of the College.

Made possible by a generous anonymous donor, the Fund is run by the Montgomery County Community College Foundation and the College’s Division of Business and Entrepreneurial Initiatives. Winners work with the College’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and community mentors to set key milestones and deliverables and to monitor their progress and outcomes.

“This is an opportunity for anyone in the community who has a great idea to get one step closer to making it reality,” said Philip Needles, vice president of student services, who oversees the program. “Like the education that the College provides, the Accelerator Fund opportunity puts success closer within reach.”

Qualifying applicants will be invited to pitch their business concepts to a review team at MCCC’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, in November. The College encourages all emerging entrepreneurs to apply, especially military veterans, women, and members of minority communities.

For more information or to apply, visit