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From Respite Care for Seniors to a Facial-Recognition Car Locks: Fifth Class of Entrepreneurs Chosen for Silicon Valley's Egalitarian Startup Accelerator, CAPE

For the next six months, representatives from 37 California businesses will get crash courses in everything from supply chain management to public relations to finance, as part of Santa Clara University's California Program for Entrepreneurship (CAPE).

Part startup accelerator, part entrepreneur incubator, part mini-MBA bootcamp, CAPE was started five years ago to give advanced training and mentorship to the full array of small businesses – not just technology startups -- that are the heart of California’s economy.

“Santa Clara has a long tradition of helping people start businesses and create jobs in Silicon Valley because that is the right thing to do,” said S. Andrew Starbird, dean of the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University. “The CAPE program is designed to do just that: contribute to the economic development and strength of our community by helping entrepreneurs commercialize their ideas."

Among the entrepreneur students are a nurse hoping to help patients accurately manage their meds; a marketer hoping to help other businesses improve their cultural know-how; and a tech employee hoping to start a new career in fingernail bling.

Other businesses include: a mobile, free-wifi service; a marketplace for carbon-reducing products; a Hispanic lifestyle company with products celebrating Latino culture; underwater gliders for research and data-collection; a smart water heater; an Uber-type car service for air travelers; a solar charging station for mass use in emergencies; and smart action figures.

Interviews with the business owners can be arranged with prior notice.

More on CAPE can be found at http://bit.ly/SCUCAPE2014.

There are few restrictions on what kinds of businesses are considered for CAPE: they must be based in California, must be deemed by evaluators to be realistic and viable, and have the potential to make a positive impact on the community. CAPE is free, and the program takes no equity interest in the businesses it helps to launch.

In its first four years, 95 entrepreneurs have graduated from CAPE, representing 83 ventures. Of those, more than 85 percent are still active and growing or have been sold.

More than 150 volunteer mentors, judges, guest speakers and panelists, representing finance, marketing, legal, technology, consumer goods, food service and more contribute to CAPE.

About Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business

The Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University began in 1923, and was one of the first business schools in the country to receive national accreditation. Its undergraduate business, MBA, and Executive MBA programs are consistently ranked among the top in the nation by BusinessWeek, U.S. News, Princeton Review, and others. The curriculum at all levels emphasizes the leadership role of business in creating prosperity within an ethical framework, as well as business responsibilities for social justice and sustainability in the global marketplace. For more information, see www.scu.edu/business/

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