CO.STARTERS for Causes
Co.Starters is a nine-week program that helps individuals put ideas into action, turning a passion for bettering the community into a sustainable and thriving endeavor.
Who's it for?
If you have a new idea for a project, nonprofit, or socially minded business – or you are an existing organization looking to become more sustainable or launch a new program - 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 project, we want you.
What to expect:
During Co.Starters, you're not being lectured. This is an action-driven, collaborative process with a small and supportive group of like-minded people, led by a facilitator who'll introduce concepts and help you immediately put them to work. We'll discuss concepts, problems and solutions during our time together; you'll apply them to your idea during the week; and we'll review and fine-tune together, so we're all shaping toward success. You'll leave the program with a deep understanding of how to create a viable endeavor, and how to repeat that process with your next great idea.
Inspired by The Business Model Canvas, the Co.Starters Canvas provides an intuitive visual map to help participants understand, organize and test their ideas.
The next cohort will start on September 11th, meeting every Monday night for 9 weeks at Causeway. This time around, we'll be off on October 9th for a break week, and then pick back up the following Monday as usual. Our Celebration night will be on November 13th. The course fee is $150, which includes course materials, office hours with the program facilitator to address your individual needs, and access to community events, networking opportunities, and other resources. We don’t want cost to be a barrier, so we are willing to offer a weekly payment plan of around $16 per class if necessary.
This class will focus on identifying and testing your assumptions, articulating your vision and mission, discovering personal strengths, and identifying obstacles.
Understanding the Problem
Before you can solve a problem, you have to understand it. This class will focus on identifying alternative solutions, getting into the mind of your customers and using feedback for your benefit.
This week we will talk about the benefits of starting small, innovation, and competitive advantage. We will also focus on your concrete plans for distribution.
Crafting Your Story
A good idea that can’t be articulated isn’t making an impact. This week we will focus on your marketing, messaging, pitching and communications plan.
Determining What You Need
The more you know about WHAT you need, the easier it is to get where you need to be. This week we will focus on specifically identifying your startup and ongoing needs.
Funding and Sustainability
It’s no secret: we all need money to do what we do. By identifying your variable costs, making an accurate budget, and identifying funding sources, you can make your money work for you.
Systems and Structures
You have a plan. Now you have to put it into action. Identifying roles, logistics and processes will help you do that.
Planning for the Future
Setting goals for the future will keep you on track to become sustainable and open doors to replicate and share your idea. We will also focus on practicing a polished pitch for your idea.