LAUNCH HARRISONBURG  – Powered by CO.STARTERS is a ten-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 about the CO.STARTERS model with this video.

Our first LAUNCH HARRISONBURG cohort launched in December 2019. Fourteen entrepreneurs came together to learn and grow over the 10-week period. Four successive LAUNCH cohorts have taught prospective entrepreneurs how to plan, launch and grow their businesses….all from other successful entrepreneurs.

Stay tuned for details about our next cohort in 2024.

APPLY HERE

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

(2) A commitment to show up each week with 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 two facilitators who are experienced entrepreneurs, 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.

Your Facilitators


Amanda Presgraves uniquely integrates her expertise across food and wellness, business, athletics, community development and mindset as a World-Class Professional USA Off-Road Triathlete and Ultra-Runner, author of “The NonRecipe Book”, business + athletic mindset coach, innovation specialist, and local + regional food system consultant. Amanda’s work connects the ways we eat, think, move and live. In the heart of Harrisonburg, you can find her charging the mountain trails and slinging nourishing snacks with her furry companion. Amanda is a certified CO.STARTERS facilitator.


Chris Ashley is a solutions-oriented, creative entrepreneur from Goochland, VA.  He graduated from JMU in 2017 with a BBA in Economics, and decided Harrisonburg would be the best place to start his businesses.

Immediately after college, Chris co-founded a company with fellow JMU alumni to design and build large format industrial 3D printers to be used in industrial prototyping capacities.  While pursuing this project, Chris also started a second company, Collegiate Customs, printing custom t-shirts and other gear for fraternities, sororities, and other college organizations.

Over the following 4 years, Collegiate Customs has expanded to schools up and down the east coast, and is fully licensed with national Greek organizations and various NCAA schools.  In that same time period, Chris and his team pivoted the 3D printing business- rebranding as Vulcan Machine Co, and shifting into the CNC Milling space.  The Vulcan Machine Co team has designed and built 3 generations of their compact, cast-iron precision CNC Mill, and is currently in the Beta phase with 10 initial customers who are helping to test and debug the system.

Chris is a certified CO.STARTERS facilitator.

Cohort Curriculum


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 ten weeks, we’ll cover the following topics:

  • Week 1 – October 2: Knowing Yourself (Assumptions, Working Styles, Team Building, Obstacles)
  • Week 2 – October 9: Knowing Your Customer (Problem, Solution, Benefit, Competition, Advantage, Customer)
  • Week 3 – October 16: Finding the Right Solution (Benefit, Advantage, Starting Small, Branding)
  • Week 4 – October 23: Getting the Relationship Right (Marketing & Messaging, Getting, keeping and growing customers)
  • Week 5 – October 30: Building Blocks (Starting Small, Distribution, Revenue, Typical Sale, Price)
  • Week 6 – November 6: Structures and Systems (Legal and Accounting)
  • Week 7 – November 13: Discovering the Bottom Line (Startup Needs, Fixed and Variable Costs, Break-Even Point)
  • Week 8 – November 20: Financial Modeling (Break-Even Point, Sales Projections, Cash Flow)
  • Week 9 – November 27: Planning for Growth (Growth Plans, Goal Setting, Celebration Prep)
  • Week 10 – December 4: Cohort Celebration and Pitch Night/Sharing Your Story

Course Details


In General

LAUNCH HARRISONBURG – Powered by CO.STARTERS lasts ten weeks, meeting one weeknight a week. LAUNCH is led by two proven and successful entrepreneurs. So you will be learning from those that have been there, done that! The cohort will also feature guest speakers providing guidance on marketing, accounting, incorporating and more.

Pricing

LAUNCH HARRISONBURG’s total course fee is $225 for city residents and $325 for non-city residents. The course fee includes all of your course materials.

Program Dates

Beginning on October 2nd, the cohort meets Monday evenings from 6:00pm – 9:00pm.

Location

The Perch at Magpie – 85 W. Gay Street, Suite B, Harrisonburg

Applying                                                                                                                                                                                          


Application Guidelines

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.  Participants must be at least 18 years old. This is a competitive application process, as space in the cohort is limited.

Deposit & Registration

Payment of the course fee is required before the first session. A payment plan is available. Once the cohort begins, payment is non-refundable.

Deadline to Apply

September 17, 2023

APPLY HERE