LAUNCH HARRISONBURG – Powered by CO.STARTERS is a nine-week program that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn business ideas into action and turn a passion into a sustainable and thriving business. CO-STARTERS is the premier national model that powers vibrant communities by equipping starters and leaders with the strategy, tools, and relationships needed to thrive. Learn all about the CO-STARTERS model at costarters.co/about.
Who Is It For?
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, or a seasoned entrepreneur looking to launch a new product or service, LAUNCH HARRISONBURG – Powered by CO.STARTERS is for you. The only real prerequisites are (1) having an idea you’re ready, willing, and excited to share and pursue and (2) a willingness to study, shape and fine-tune that idea in a supportive, collaborative, and welcoming environment. If you’re creative and community-minded, and you’re serious about turning your passion into a sustainable business, we want you.
What To Expect?
LAUNCH HARRISONBURG is an action-driven, collaborative process with a small and supportive group of like-minded people. Led by a facilitator who is an experienced entrepreneur, 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.
During LAUNCH HARRISONBURG, you’ll develop and fine-tune your idea, critically examining every part of it and tweaking your next steps through real-time feedback from people in the community. Over the nine weeks, we’ll cover the following topics.
- Week 1: Knowing Yourself (Assumptions, Working Styles, Team Building, Obstacles)
- Week 2: Knowing Your Customer (Problem, Solution, Benefit, Competition, Advantage, Customer)
- Week 3: Getting the Relationship Right (Marketing & Message; Getting, Keeping & Growing Customers)
- Week 4: Building the Model to Scale (Starting Small, Distribution, Revenue, Typical Sale, Price)
- Week 5: Strengthening Your Structure (Business Structures, Licenses, IP, Hiring)
- Week 6: Discovering the Bottom Line (Startup & Ongoing Needs, Fixed & Variable Costs, Break-Even Point)
- Week 7: Accounting for Growth (Break-Even Point, Sales Projections, Cash Flow, Accounting)
- Week 8: Planning for the Future (Raising Capital, Growth Plans, Goal Setting, Pitch Prep)
- Week 9: Pitch Night/Sharing Your Story
LAUNCH HARRISONBURG – Powered by CO.STARTERS lasts nine weeks, meeting one evening a week for three hours. Facilitators are entrepreneurs themselves, and guest speakers include specialists and professionals from Harrisonburg’s leading marketing, legal and finance firms.
The total course fee for residents and businesses located in the city of Harrisonburg is $250. The fee for non city residents and businesses is $325. The course fee includes all of your course materials.
Exact dates have not been announced yet. The anticipated start date is the first week of February, 2020.
LAUNCH HARRISONBURG will be held weekly at Harrisonburg City Hall, 409 South Main Street in Rooms 11 & 12 (lower level).
Application Guidelines (the application will be posted here on December 3, 2019)
Whether you just have an idea, have been working on a business concept for a while or are an owner of an existing business, we encourage you to apply. Residents and businesses inside and outside of Harrisonburg are welcomed to apply. You will need a well-articulated description of the product or service you offer (or plan on offering) and a description of your consumer, client, or target audience. We’re looking for entrepreneurs that represent a diverse range of sectors and backgrounds. This is a competitive application process, as space in the cohort is limited.
We occasionally offer a free, one-hour information session about LAUNCH HARRISONBURG. This information session is optional, and is intended for potential applicants who have questions about the program. We hope to have an information session scheduled in December, so please check back for details.
Deposit & Registration
There is no application fee. If accepted into the program, a 50% deposit will be required immediately to reserve your seat. The balance of the registration fee will be due five (5) days prior to the start of the course. The initial deposit and final payment are non-refundable.
The deadline for LAUNCH HARRISONBURG applications is Tuesday, January 7. Applicants accepted into the program will be notified on Monday, January 13.