Every day in America, women start more than 1,200 new companies. That number has doubled since 2011. But getting those ideas off the ground isn't easy.

Prosper Women Entrepreneurs is changing that.

Beginning in January 2015, the Prosper Women Entrepreneurs Startup Accelerator will make a total of 12 $50,000 equity investments annually in women-led technology, life sciences, and consumer product startup companies. In addition to the capital investment, those companies selected will take part in a three-month accelerator program where participants will receive hands-on training and mentoring and engage in curriculum designed specifically to help women scale their businesses and raise follow-on capital. Participants will receive hands-on training and mentoring and engage in curriculum designed specifically to help women scale their businesses and raise follow-on capital.

Applications for the Spring 2015 accelerator class open on September 1, 2014. The first six companies selected for the inaugural class will start the three-month program in January and will be housed in downtown St. Louis. St. Louis-based venture capital firm Cultivation Capital will provide back-office support to the Prosper Women Entrepreneurs Startup Accelerator.

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