The Fort Program isn’t your typical business incubator or accelerator. It’s not some caricature of a program like you’ve probably seen on TV where business tycoons judge your presentation to decide if they want to invest. We like Shark Tank just as much as the next person, but when it comes to helping new entrepreneurs reach their goals, we at Rising Tide Initiative are completely serious, genuine, and dedicated.
Did you know that 60-80% of all jobs in the United States can be accounted for by small businesses? However, did you also know that about 50% of small businesses fail by their fifth year? Starting a small business is hard! The playing field is anything but level. Small businesses are a huge force for good in our communities, though, and we’re here to level that playing field a bit and help you see that elusive sixth year of business.
At Rising Tide, we like to call those first years of starting a business the “Valley of Death.” It’s the space between the launching of a new business and the moment it begins to be profitable, and that gap can be nearly impossible for small business owners to cross on their own. However, with some help and a great deal of focus, it can be crossed successfully.
That’s why Fort is here, to provide resources for small businesses to help them get across that “valley of death.”
Challenges are around every corner for the new entrepreneur, and much like with child-raising, it takes a village to move a brand-new business from start-up to profitable.
Welcome to Fort, your very own village.
Fort is a community where those with incredible grit can find the accountability, tools, and capital they need to succeed. Community + Grit + Accountability + Tide Toolbox + Capital = Fort.
Every new business owner needs a community of support around them, one that understands and can help them face all of the challenges that come with starting a business. In all of our Fort locations, we’re dedicated to creating an environment of support and community among all of our entrepreneurs.
If you’re willing to be a contributing member of a community of new entrepreneurs, you just might be in the right place!
Starting (and growing) a business is hard, and it requires a good deal of perseverance, resolve, and courage. There are tons of challenges to overcome and decisions to make in the early days of a business, and sadly, many new business owners just aren’t able to persevere through it all.
If you’ve proven, through your life and career experiences, that you’re able to persevere through tough things, you, again, might be in the right place.
Commitment and perseverance are absolutely necessary for building a successful business. But sometimes you just need that little extra push from a friend or a mentor. Submitting to accountability takes humility and an understanding that you can’t do this alone.
If you’re willing to be held accountable for working hard to meet your goals, it pretty much seems like you’ve found the right people.
It’s undeniable: the people who are already doing this are in a better position than you are. They’re more experienced, better networked, and simply more well-known. But that’s where Rising Tide comes in to level the playing field a bit. We have a wide network of experienced partners and mentors available for you to learn from and an ever-growing chest of tools for you to use.
If you’re ready to learn from and work with some amazing people, you’ve checked this box as well.
Ah, money. It makes the world go ‘round, but it can often be hard to come by for a new entrepreneur. A large part of getting through the “valley of death” as a new business owner is simply developing an economically viable business model.
If you know you’re spending too much time focusing on funding your business and are ready to start building a business that will fund itself, you just might be ready to apply!
"“They are giving their valuable time to do nothing but help us grow our businesses strategically which we are so thankful for. Through the cohort, we have also created many valuable connections that have helped us in so many ways.”"
"The RTI Fort cohort provides resources and learning content that is valuable for each entrepreneur to implement at the onset of their business. Having a community of like-minded entrepreneurs is important when the odds of success are stacked against you."
"If you want to be surrounded by selfless, intelligent, and resourceful individuals who motivate and enable you to take your organization to new heights, you absolutely need to apply to the RTI FORT program."