The LIVESTRONG Foundation is proud to announce that out of 168 Big C Competition semi-finalists, 20 ventures have been selected to participate in the brand-new elite Martha and Kozo Shimano Entrepreneur Accelerator program! Thanks to the generous donation by the Shimano family, each of these teams will be matched with expert business mentors and will develop a comprehensive investor-ready pitch deck, as well as have the opportunity to crowd-fund for their venture.
Working with their mentors to fulfill specific deliverables over the course of two months, entrepreneurs will be equipped with specific tools to speed their growth. Of these 20 teams, five will be chosen to present their ideas at the Big C Finale Event in the hopes of taking home the $25,000 grand prize.
Martha and Kozo Shimano are long-time friends and supporters of The LIVESTRONG Foundation. Kozo graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. He worked for Shimano, Inc. until 2008 when his interest in designing and developing products used to protect athletes from potentially career-ending injuries led him to start his own companies, Kozo Gear, LLC and Kozo Design, Inc. Martha earned her undergraduate degree at Hood College, and later continued on to Johns Hopkins University for her MBA. She has worked for over 13 years at several non-profit organizations and her two alma maters in Development.
“Cancer has touched the lives of everyone we know and love. We have seen firsthand how The LIVESTRONG Foundation helps those on both sides of the cancer equation cope, plan and thrive through all stages of diagnosis, treatment and life afterward. We are pleased to be a part of this organization,” said the Shimano family.
Both Martha and Kozo serve on several non-profit boards and help establish start-up companies. They are interested in not only exercise and sports, but travel, music and the arts. Thanks to their generous support, The LIVESTRONG Foundation is able to offer cancer-focused entrepreneurs a truly unique mentoring experience and opportunity to develop unlike any other.