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 Lynchburg businesses have graduated from the CO.STARTERS program. CO.STARTERS is hosted in part by the Office of Economic Development & Tourism, Small Business Development Center – Lynchburg Region, and Vector Space.
Applications for a new cohort will reopen in 2023.
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 above.
CO.STARTERS Core is a three-month, cohort-based program that equips entrepreneurs of all kinds with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn business ideas into action. The only real prerequisites to joining the program are (1) having an idea, (2) being willing to question, shape and fine-tune that idea, and (3) being willing to talk about the idea with others. Participants enter into a facilitator-led, collaborative process with a small and supportive group of 10-15 like-minded peers. Working together, participants develop and fine-tune their ideas, critically examining every part and determining next steps through real-time feedback from people in the community, using a simplified version of the Business Model Canvas. This approach enables entrepreneurs to rapidly uncover flaws in their concepts and find viable models more quickly. Participants leave the program with a deeper understanding of how to create a sustainable business, articulate their models, and repeat the process with the next great idea.
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:
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.
Interested in learning more about CO.STARTERS or registering for the course? Fill out the CO.STARTERS application above.