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BIGx Accelerator Program

BIGx Accelerator Program and BIGx Leadership Circles are sponsored by the Business Innovation Group at Georgia Southern University. The BIGx program provides an opportunity for a selected group consisting of high potential incubator clients to deepen relationships with other entrepreneurs, inspire innovation, and challenge each other. This program is cohort driven in Statesboro, Georgia at the Business Innovation Group (BIG) incubator, and at the Georgia Grown Innovation Center (GGIC) located in Metter, Georgia, which is partnered with Georgia Southern University, the city of Metter’s Economic Development Division and Georgia Grown, a division of the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Each cohort contains a minimum of six entrepreneurs who participate in leadership circles over six-month sessions. The program format is partially executive development and partially peer-advising via the business roundtable. The programs are facilitated by Catherine Blake, who has been hired as BIG’s accelerator manager to lead the initiative.  “Statistically, peer cohorts are the best way for entrepreneurs to grow,” Blake said. “By bringing these talented, high potential professionals together, they will set the pace for each other to advance and accelerate. Individuals will organically form a high-performance team and support each other on what can be otherwise a lonely journey.” 

The result has been two vibrant BIGx Accelerator programs where students, faculty, veterans, and business professionals can find the support, education, and training necessary to grow their businesses. With locations in Statesboro, Metter, and soon in Hinesville, Georgia, BIGx is expanding the footprint of Georgia Southern University’s economic impact in the region. Members also benefit from subject matter experts from the region’s SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and MEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership). 


  • Leadership Circle of six entrepreneurs dedicated to six sessions executed with respect to confidentiality and house rules. 
  • Professional leadership development based on world-class, research-based content. 
  • Entrepreneurial, peer-driven, trusted environment to test ideas, share challenges, and leverage feedback. 
  • Opportunity to grow professionally, deepen networks and develop close, trusted relationships.
  • Accountability and results-driven based on Silicon Valley metrics. 


  • Facilitated monthly leadership circles meet over lunch.  
  • Private consults available with facilitator based on situational need. 
  • Confidentiality mandated; Chatham House Rules respected. 
  • Meeting protocols keep the group on track and focused. 
  • Peer-driven recommendations based on the experience within the circle. 
  • Our motto: We respect each other. We are professionals committed to leadership excellence. 
  • No direct competitors admitted. Potential conflict of interest prospects reviewed by other members before being invited. 


  • 6 Monthly 90-minute Leadership Circles (Required attendance at 4)
  • Monthly one-on-one check-ins based on OKRs (objectives, key results) set by the entrepreneur.  
  • Confidential ad-hoc laser sessions available upon request.
  • By invitation only. 

Entrepreneurs or individuals with winning business ideas who would like to be a part of their community and receive business advising and coaching are invited to apply for a placement at BIG in Statesboro or Metter by visiting

Last updated: 3/4/2022