CO.STARTERS is a 9 week program that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships and tools needed to turn their business ideas into action. Unlike traditional platforms, it applies the lean business model methods popular with high-growth startups to businesses of all kinds. We recently completed our 9 week Spring session with a “Celebration Night.” There, the program participants shared their stories and pitched their businesses. Read on for thoughts from a few of the CO.STARTERS grads on how the program helped them.  

Molly  Plyler,  Marketing  Educator and Organizer  of  Liberty’s  DECA  store:  “I  was  really excited to be a part of CO.STARTERS because I teach marketing and entrepreneurship classes at  Liberty  Technology  Magnet  School  here  in  Jackson.  It  was  a  great  way  to  meet  local businesses and learn from them as well as get material I could integrate into my classes. This is an amazing program that helps you systematically think through how to set up your business. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who needs help starting their own business.” 

Morris  Abernathy,  Co-owner  of  Victory  Vapor  North:  “I  think  the  networking  with  other business  owners  was  the  most  valuable  aspect  of  CO.STARTERS.  Listening  to  everyone’s challenges, workflow, cash flow, how to handle taxes, and how to handle legal matters was very helpful. The most important thing I gained was the plug-in to the community and finding out that lots of other people are in your same spot as a new business person.”

Lee  Wilson,  Co-founder  of  Jackson  Escape  Rooms:   “Truthfully   the   benefits   of CO.STARTERS  are  too  numerous  to  express.  I  could  highlight  any  number  of  things  that CO.STARTERS has made it possible for myself and Jackson Escape Rooms. On the top of that list is the paradigm shift that CO.STARTERS brought about in how I think about marketing my business. Jackson Escape Rooms is an innovative form of entertainment & team building that a lot of people are not familiar with yet. So it’s tempting to try to define what an escape room is when  we actually need  to  be engaging  customers  with  the  benefits of the unique experiences we  offer.  The  second  thing  that  I  would  mention  is that,  as  an  accidental  entrepreneur, CO.STARTERS went a long way to provide me with a foundation in the basics of business with an emphasis in doing business, not just knowing business theory. Anybody who is beginning a business or  considering beginning a business is a fool if they don’t participate in the program. Pass up the opportunity to be a part of CO.STARTERS and you could be passing up the skills you need to hit the ground running as a successful and profitable business.”

Check out the list below for all the participants of the Spring 2015 CO.STARTERS session. 

Samantha Curry is an intern, writer, editor, designer and author of this piece..