Franklin Entrepreneurial Accelerator Graduates First Cohort

a:10:{i:0;s:111:"Becky McCord

Regional SBDC at CSM Joins Public, Private Partners to Assist Business Owners

The overwhelming consensus among the first cohort of Southern Maryland entrepreneurs completing the Franklin Entrepreneurial Accelerator (FEA) program was that the training they received will help them not only grow their businesses but enjoy growing their businesses.

The Southern Region Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the College of Southern Maryland and the University of Maryland have partnered with Eric Franklin, CEO of ERIMAX Inc., entrepreneur, author and angel investor to launch the FEA to benefit Southern Maryland business owners.

“Over the years, the Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has identified the key areas where businesses fall short. These are implementation and critical thinking,” said Ellen Flowers-Fields, SBDC Southern Region director. “The Franklin Entrepreneurial Accelerator has been developed to effectively address those factors and to extend our SBDC current entrepreneur programs into a platform where growing businesses in Southern Maryland can thrive economically for long time success.”

The first cohort included Spider Hill Farms, County Office Furniture, Hilltop Signs, Environmental Solution’s Service, Motobriiz LLC, Trinity Fitness, Spider Hill Farms, Monkey Kate & Daves.

The FEA will initially focus on business growth and strategic planning. It is for executives and entrepreneurs, who want to fast-track their company’s growth, sharpen their critical thinking skills and take their business to the next level. Participants will choose their highest priorities and develop their own strategic plan with the help of SBDC facilitators.

“The SBDC has demonstrated expertise in assisting many businesses over the years at the start of their business albeit with limited resources. For these businesses to thrive and achieve, we, private industry and the government must continuously challenge them to adapt and grow,” said Franklin. “With the launch of FEA, I am proud to be at the start of a new private industry initiative in Southern Maryland that has stepped up and committed to helping businesses prosper. It is my hope that the success of the Franklin Entrepreneurial Accelerator will connect the Southern Maryland region to entrepreneurial ecosystems across the state and nation.”

The pilot entrepreneur program launched in January 2015 with the first cohort of entrepreneurs completing the program on Feb. 12. Deadline to register for the second cohort is Feb. 25. For information, visit

For a listing of upcoming SBDC events, visit