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.

Our first LAUNCH HARRISONBURG cohort was in winter 2019/2020. Fourteen entrepreneurs came together to learn and grow over the 9-week period. Our second LAUNCH HARRISONBURG cohort of 9 people met virtually from October – December, 2020, learning from experienced entrepreneurs in how to plan, launch and grow their businesses.

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.

Curriculum – Summer 2021 Cohort – Starting June 16


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: Cohort Celebration and Pitch Night/Sharing Your Story

Course Details


In General

LAUNCH HARRISONBURG – Powered by CO.STARTERS lasts nine weeks, meeting on Wednesday evenings each week from 6:00pm – 9:00pm. We are thrilled to have two dynamic facilitators: Kirsten Moore, owner of Magpie Diner and The Perch Coworking; and Nick Swartz, Associate Dean, Professional & Continuing Education at James Madison University. Kirsten and Nick will be your guides on your entrepreneurial journey. The cohort will also feature guest speakers providing guidance on marketing, accounting, incorporating and more.

Pricing

Due to the cohort being in response to the Rosetta Stone layoffs, LAUNCH HARRISONBURG’s total course fee is $70. The course fee includes all of your course materials.

Program Dates

The first cohort will begin on June 16th from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The classes will occur each successive Wednesday for 9 weeks total.

Location

LAUNCH HARRISONBURG will meet at The Perch Co-working space at 85 W. Gay Street.

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.  This is a competitive application process, as space in the cohort is limited.

Deposit & Registration

Payment of the course fee will be due five (3) days prior to the start of the course. Once the cohort begins, payment is non-refundable.

Deadline

The deadline to submit your application to LAUNCH HARRISONBURG is June 10. Again, this is a competitive selection process. Applicants accepted into the program will be notified on June 11.