This summer I was invited to be a guest speaker to the current cohort of the IncubatorWorks Co.Starters program. This is an excellent program designed to help first-time entrepreneurs to learn the fundamentals of starting a business.
This is an excellent program. Co.Starters started in Chattanooga, Tennessee and is designed for entrepreneurs in smaller, rural communities. The team at IncubatorWorks adopted the fundamentals of the program, and have continued to refine it for upstate New York. The group I spoke to this summer were the 11th cohort.
As the final step, each team does a final presentation about their business. IncubatorWorks invites in regional business leaders and community dignitaries. While there is a $500 prize for the best business pitch, the mood in the room is that there are a lot of winning entrepreneurs who are on their way to great things.
The program concludes with a graduation, including motivating speeches and words of encouragement.
If you're in a rural area, have an idea for a new business, and aren't sure what do next - then seek out a Co.Starters near you. If you're in upstate New York, contact the folks at IncubatorWorks to find out when their next Co.Starters cohort begins.