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Accelerate Southside

Invest Atlanta, in partnership with The Guild, is excited to launch the Accelerate Southside program. This program is designed to assist minority-owned businesses, located in the Southside, with business acceleration and growth in addition to owning their own space as a wealth building tool. 

Accelerate Southside is a two-part pilot program comprising of an immersive business accelerator training offered by The Guild (2019 Community Wealth Building Business Accelerator) + Accelerate Southside (Commercial Down Payment Assistance Program). With a focus on the 30-acre Pittsburgh Yards site located on the Atlanta Beltline, the program will support entrepreneurs interested in purchasing a shipping container to locate at the Pittsburgh Yards Shipping Container Garden. 

The Guild’s 2019 Community Wealth Building Business Accelerator is a unique business advancement program for existing minority-owned small businesses seeking to have a brick and mortar retail location in the Atlanta's southside. Minority business owners face a host of systemic challenges including risk of business displacement, absence of accessible capital, and lack of information to successfully grow their business. The Guild's Accelerator aims to support these businesses and to alleviate the systemic challenges the entrepreneurs face.

In addition, Invest Atlanta is launching the pilot Accelerate Southside Commercial Down Payment Assistance program which is currently in development.  The proposed program will provide enterprenuers with an additional resource to lessen the burden of owning their own space. 

How It Works

Interview and Receive Admission Into The Guild’s 2019 Community Wealth Building Business Accelerator Program
Complete The Guild’s 2019 Community Wealth Building Business Accelerator Program
Plan to locate your business at Pittsburgh Yards’ Shipping Container Garden and purchase a shipping container
Qualified businesses deemed eligible can apply for the Accelerate Southside Commercial Down Payment Assistance program (in development)


Week of June 10: Program FAQ’s posted + Information Sessions announced

June 17: Application officially opens and will be accepted on a rolling basis. Qualified applicants will begin receiving interview invites. 

June 27: Accelerate Southside Information Session at 6:30pm at 640 West Café

July 15: Application closes.

June 17 - August 10: Interviews of qualified applicants will take place.

August 12: Acceptance emails sent to applicants.

August 16: Confirmed participants will need to submit proof of up-to-date City of Atlanta business license.

September 10: Start of Accelerator 

November 26: End of Accelerator (classes)

December 10: Program graduation and showcase


  1. There will be a competitive selection process for The Guild’s 2019 Community Wealth Building Business Accelerator Program.  Applicants will be interviewed by a selection committee and notified of their acceptance into the Community Wealth Building Business Accelerator Program.  
  2. In order to access product and services as part of Accelerate Southside program, applicants must complete the prerequisite business accelerator program offered by The Guild.
  3. A percentage of businesses accepted into The Guild’s 2019 Community Wealth Building Business Accelerator Program  are those considering locating at Pittsburgh Yards.  There are additional steps and requirements to securing a location at Pittsburgh Yards and will be managed by a third party (not the responsibility of Invest Atlanta or The Guild). 
  4. Invest Atlanta is currently developing a new commercial down payment assistance program targeting businesses seeking to own their own space in Southeast and Southwest Atlanta for the purpose of operating their business. This program is not available for investors, developers, commercial properties owners who lease 100% of their space to businesses, etc.

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