October 22, 2018
By Ethan Genter
State announces grants, programs for new businesses during Cape Cod tour
WEST YARMOUTH — William Rubenstein took over Camp Wingate*Kirkland in Yarmouth Port with his wife, Sandy, about 15 years ago and learned how to keep an established business going.
But the camp director also had set his sights on creating a new business of his own:a board game cafe on Cape Cod.
While the idea was simple, starting a business can be hard. A new program announced Monday is helping Rubenstein and others like him get their ideas off the ground.
During a meeting at the Cape Cod Association of Realtors headquarters, Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash announced a $100,000 grant for a business accelerator program created through a partnership between the Cape Cod Young Professionals and the new Cape Cod branch of Entrepreneurship For All, a nonprofit designed to support new entrepreneurs.
The program includes two classes a week run by the CCYP and EforAll, as well as a 90-minute one-on-one meetings with a mentor once a week, said Christin Marshall, EforAll Cape Cod executive director.
The grant is offered by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative entrepreneurship program. On Monday, Ash sat down with Rubenstein and other people who previously have been in the program to talk about how the state could help budding businesses.
Rubenstein is three weeks into the Cape’s inaugural program and already is bringing his idea for weekly board game nights to existing bars and restaurants.
Sarah Mason, owner of the Cape Cod Nail Company, a mobile nail salon, participated in an off-Cape version of the accelerator program before it started on the Cape. After running the business out of her home in Sandwich for two years, she started to feel like she was stuck in the mud. That’s when she applied for the program.
“It was the best thing I could have done for myself and my business,” she said.
Ash said he often talks with people about how the state and other institutions can help entrepreneurs.
“One of the ways of doing it is to work with our friends in the Legislature to come up with the resources to be able to offer great organizations and people who are part of those organizations a little bit extra,” Ash said.
Earlier, Ash was in Provincetown toannounce a $231,000 grant to Provincetown Commons, a collaborative work space at the Cape’s tip. The costs for physical spaces — the Provincetown work space will be inside a converted school building — must go hand-in-hand with funds for things like the mentoring program, Ash said.
The new partnership brings the accelerator program to the Cape and adds to the other programs CCYP already offers, said Lauren Barker, CCYP chief executive officer. The organization approached EforAll about a year ago and the two groups talked about how they could work together. Barker said she is excited for the new program and grateful to the state for the new funding.
“We couldn’t do this on our own,” she said.
— Follow Ethan Genter on Twitter: @EthanGenterCCT