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Starting and Growing Atlanta's Small Businesses

About Us

Start:ME is a free small business training program that provides entrepreneurs the tools and connections necessary to build and grow successful businesses.

What Start:ME Delivers



Hands-on business training by Emory's Goizueta Business School



Connections to mentors, support services, and fellow entrepreneurs


Grants for promising ventures and connections to capital providers

Our Network

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Our Communities


"The most diverse square mile in America"


East Lake

"A vibrant community of entrepreneurs"

Start:ME Stories



Our Partners & Supporters

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Our Team

Contact Us
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Erin Igleheart

Program Director

Erin manages Start:ME and engages other small business support organizations.

Fun fact: she summited Mount Kilimanjaro. The view was pretty awesome.

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Alina Bills

Program Manager

Alina oversees the operations, marketing, and alumni programming of Start:ME.

Fun fact: she was a shuttle driver through New York City in the Bronx and Manhattan boroughs. 

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Dylan Bahena

Program Associate

Dylan manages Start:ME marketing and program operations.

Fun fact: he was a member of his college's Quidditch team.

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Maria Peck

Clarkston Program Lead

Maria manages and delivers the Clarkston accelerator program.

Fun fact: she was named one of the 50 Most Influential Latinos in Georgia in 2021.

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Kareem Hall

East Lake + Southside Program Lead

Kareem manages and delivers the East Lake and Southside accelerator program.

Fun fact: he is a world class baby toy assembler.

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Sushma Barakoti

Clarkston Coordinator

Sushma manages the Clarkston program’s coalition, recruitment, and local alumni programming.

Fun fact: she is also a Start:ME alum and actively working her business, Sunavworld.

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Mercedes Uzuegbunam

East Lake Coordinator

Mercedes manages the East Lake program’s coalition, recruitment, and local alumni programming.

Fun fact: she loves to travel -  Mercedes has backpacked to 12 countries, 20 states, and Puerto Rico. Including biking from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Ghent, Belgium.

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Fran Carroll

Southside Coordinator and NextGen Lead


Fran manages the Southside program’s coalition, recruitment, and local alumni programming.

Fun fact: she is a two-time graduate of Georgia State University - go Panthers!

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