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2018 Pitch Night Group


Fostering Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Spelman

  • Are you curious about entrepreneurship?
  • Are you a student entrepreneur in the early stages of your business development?
  • Do you need some business tips to run and grow your side hustle/business?
  • Did you know that an entrepreneurial mindset is applied in various work organizations?

What is Spelpreneur?

Spelpreneur is a co-curricular education initiative that fosters entrepreneurship and innovation at Spelman College. Spelpreneur educates, inspires, and empowers students. It is opened to all current Spelman students. In 2023-2024, Spelpreneur will offer two (2) programs:

  • Spelpreneur Program
  • HBCU Founders Initiative (HBCUFI) Pre-Accelerator Program
Spelman College students, Spelpreneur is for YOU! 

Spelpreneur Highlights

  • Spelpreneur Chelsea Mendes Turns Her Business Ideas into Realities

    Spelpreneur Chelsea MendesChelsea Mendes, C’2025, is a political science major on the pre-law track from Orlando, Florida. Raised by two social entrepreneurs, she says she witnessed firsthand how their dedication to their passion and talents positively impacted both themselves and their community. She cites their commitment to their craft as a major contributor to her own passion for entrepreneurship. 
    Following graduation from Spelman and law school, Mendes plans to launch an entertainment boutique firm. Following a mentor’s suggestion, she organized the inaugural Collegiate Intellectual Property Symposium in collaboration with the Morehouse Spelman Pre-Law Society. The event, set to take place in April in the Manley College Student Center Atrium, aims to educate aspiring artists and athletes interested in protecting their brand, and those interested in sports business or entertainment law. The symposium is an expansion of the idea she formulated as a Spelpreneur  participant. 
    For Mendes, her next steps include preparing for the symposium and prepping for Spelpreneur’s annual startup competition on Feb. 28, 2024, from 6 - 9 p.m.
    The two activities align with her commitment to turn entrepreneurial ideas into impactful initiatives.

  • Spelpreneur Lauren Thompson Explores Business Opportunities

    Spelpreneur Participant Lauren ThompsonLauren Thompson, C’2027, is a documentary filmmaking major and entrepreneurship minor from Silver Spring, Maryland, with a passion for entrepreneurship and innovation. Thompson says entrepreneurship allows her to have a creative outlet to express herself and give back to her community. 

    As a Spelpreneur participant, she has learned the important lessons and problem-solving skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur. She plans to create a networking site that further connects college students and high school seniors in an effort to aid in their college selection process and increase college preparedness. Through Spelpreneur, she gained access to a web of entrepreneurs who she could rely on for support and guidance, and she developed the confidence and reassurance she needed to continue with her entrepreneurship journey. 

    As a result of participating in Spelpreneur, Thompson says her next steps toward entrepreneurship are to begin the market research for her business, which includes reaching out to college and career readiness resources to confirm demand for her proposed product.

Learn more about the Spelpreneur Program

The Spelpreneur Program

The Spelpreneur Program introduces students to the fundamentals that will advance their knowledge and practice of entrepreneurship. Programming is organized into three categories: EDUCATE, INSPIRE, AND EMPOWER.

In the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year, all Spelman students will be invited to apply for the Spelpreneur program. Those selected will have the opportunity to participate in weekly programming and receive benefits during the semester. Also, all Spelman students will be invited to apply for the 10-Day Startup Competition. Those who complete the Competition will have the opportunity to receive benefits.

Group of Spelpreneur students working together



With our Fundamental Series, students learn about the entrepreneurial mindset as well as key concepts of starting, running, and growing a business.


With our Entrepreneur Chats, students engage with successful entrepreneurs who openly talk about their entrepreneurial journey. With our Speed Mentoring, students meet 1-on-1 with entrepreneurs to discuss their business idea or business/side hustle and learn about successful business practices.

Spelpreneur alumne talking to student

Spelpreneur students and judges at pitch night


With our 10-Day Start-up Competition (held in the Spring), students will:

  • apply for the competition
  • form teams of 2 to 4 members
  • identify a unique problem
  • work with mentors
  • collaborate with the Spelman Innovation Lab
  • demonstrate how their idea presents the best solution to the problem
  • build a mock-up and business case
  • pitch at a “Shark Tank” style event, competing for financial prize packages

HBCU Founders Initiative (HBCUFI) Pre-Accelerator

HBCU Founders Initiative (HBCUFI) Pre-Accelerator program, a partnership with HBCU Founders Initiative, is an eight-week empowering program that focuses on student entrepreneurs with early-stage companies and are ready to validate a problem and build a minimum viable product (MVP).

  • Various topics will be covered weekly during virtual sessions
  • Occasional on-campus activities are also planned
  • Advisers and mentors will provide guidance
  • The program will be offered during the Fall and Spring semesters
  • Teams will be eligible to receive funding in support of MVP development from HBCUFI
  • Teams will also be eligible to receive financial stipends for completion of this program from Spelpreneur
  • Student teams of 1 to 4 members may apply


Connect With Us

@spelpreneur on Instagram