What is CO.STARTERS?
CO.STARTERS is a ten-week cohort-based program that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn ideas into action and turn a passion into a sustainable and thriving endeavor. This nationally-based program has been proven to jump-start entrepreneurial ideas and provide a foundation for success. To date, more than 100 LYH businesses have graduated from the CO.STARTERS program. CO.STARTERS is hosted in part by the City of Lynchburg Office of Economic Development & Tourism, Small Business Development Center – Lynchburg Region, and Vector Space.
Who is CO.STARTERS for?
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, or a seasoned professional looking to launch a new product or service, CO.STARTERS can give you the support you need to get started. To join, you must first have an idea you’re ready, willing and excited to share and pursue. You should also have a willingness to study, shape and fine-tune that idea in an environment that’s supportive and collaborative. If you’re serious about turning your passion into a sustainable business, CO.STARTERS is a smart next-step. Submit your application by filing out the electronic application linked below.
What to expect:
Groups of 10 to 15 entrepreneurs meet together for nine weeks, meeting one evening a week for three hours, led by a facilitator. CO.STARTERS facilitators are experienced business owners from the community who guide participants through the program by asking the right questions, drawing on the knowledge in the room, and using available resources and connections in the community to point participants in the right direction. In addition to exploring different topics each week, guest speakers are also brought in weekly to enrich the conversation and help participants learn from the experience of others in the community. CO.STARTERS will help you identify why and how your business will work, and will then talk with customers to validate your ideas. This approach enables you to rapidly uncover flaws in your concept and find viable models more quickly. You’ll leave the program with a deeper understanding of how to create a sustainable business, articulate your model, and repeat the process with your next great idea.
How much does it cost?
The cost of CO.STARTERS is $125 for residents of the City of Lynchburg and $175 for residents of Campbell, Bedford, Appomattox, or Amherst Counties. Participants can pay the first night of class or arrange flexible payment plans. The program costs include:
- 1 on 1 support from a seasoned entrepreneur
- 10 weeks of classroom instruction
- Mentorship and class speakers
- Opportunity to hone your business pitch
What is covered:
CO.STARTERS Core provides an action-driven, collaborative process with a small and supportive group of like-minded people. Over ten sessions, you’ll identify your assumptions about why and how your businesses will work and then talk to customers in order to validate your ideas. This approach enables you to rapidly uncover flaws in your concept and find viable models more quickly. You’ll leave the program with a deeper understanding of how to create a sustainable business, articulate your model, and repeat the process with your next great idea.
- Classes take place once a week for 10 weeks.
- Classes begin September 12.
- Participants must be 18 years or older to register for the course.
Interested in learning more about CO.STARTERS or registering for the course? Fill out the CO.STARTERS application below: