The setting at The Howard Theater in D.C. was electric as University Startups (USU) co-Founder Marc Steren got on stage to demonstrate the plan to change lives for students in low-income communities through USU’s pathway to college programs, as well as its employment and internship readiness programs. Techstars Accelerator Demo Day featured 12 startup businesses in the D.C. region - selected out of 500 applicants.
Steren shared the company’s vision and passion for changing lives for under-resourced students who don’t have access to college preparation courses, individualized college and employment guidance and resume and interview preparation.
“The impact we are having is real and tangible,” says Steren. “For example, we are working with a school district in Pennsylvania that has 1 college counselor for every 462 students! It’s impossible to give each student extended, individual time. Plus, a new law enacted in PA, (Act 158) gives students the opportunities to meet alternate requirements to graduate. As a result of the law, 1 in 4 students in one Harrisburg school who would not graduate this year can earn their diploma by finding the right program. USU stepped in, and through our virtual internships and programs the students will now meet the requirements and learn along the way. Now 100% of the students will graduate! You can’t beat that impact!” says Steren.
USU’s mission is to share programming with millions of students and literally change the course of their lives. The impact on the communities and the students is this: Every job placed or created through USU saves the community $54,000 a year and for those students that choose to attend just one year of college, that student’s lifetime income increases over half a million dollars.
Techstars Washington, DC, Powered by J.P. Morgan Accelerator Program provides mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs with an unmatched global network and support to help new companies like USU succeed. USU, The Montgomery County, Maryland startup, will get access to additional funding and advice from leading entrepreneurs to further its goals to help millions of students attend college and land better paying jobs.
“Our programs are having an immediate impact with under-resourced students who don’t have access to college preparatory courses, including resume and essay writing coaches, as well as tools to find scholarships for college. Our scalable platform can serve millions of students at a time” says Steren. “We are literally changing lives around the region by giving these students the information and know-how they need to get into college or get competitive jobs. For the students who are going into the workforce, our employment program helps students match their passion with better paying jobs, perfect interview skills and write targeted resumes,” he says.
The Techstars Washington DC, Powered by J.P. Morgan class represents an intentional investment in the rich talent and diversity of the tech startup ecosystem blossoming in the nation’s capital. “DC is where people come to change the world, and Mayor Bowser is committed to DC’s growth as a technology hub with tremendous partners like Techstars," said John Falcicchio, Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development.
About University Startups: Founded in 2020, University Startups is committed to creating opportunities for students and lifelong learners to expand their worlds beyond a traditional curriculum. The organization empowers students by fostering an entrepreneurial mindset, which helps students to think creatively and find ways to translate their passions into real-world experiences. Whether students want to start a business, attend college, or find a job, University Startups uses proprietary instructional courses and groundbreaking technologies to get them there. All classes are designed by expert instructors from top-tier universities. For more information on University Startups programs, please contact Marc Steren at email@example.com.
About Techstars - The Techstars worldwide network helps entrepreneurs succeed. Founded in 2006, Techstars began with three simple ideas—entrepreneurs create a better future for everyone, collaboration drives innovation, and great ideas can come from anywhere. Now we are on a mission to enable every person on the planet to contribute to, and benefit from, the success of entrepreneurs. In addition to operating accelerator programs and venture capital funds, we do this by connecting startups, investors, corporations, and cities to help build thriving startup communities. Techstars has invested in more than 2,500 companies with a combined market cap of more than $220B www.techstars.com