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Local Organizations Collaborate to Launch CO.STARTERS

The Innovation Collaborative along with five other funding partners is bringing CO.STARTERS to Northwest PA! CO.STARTERS is a nine-week, cohort-based program that equips entrepreneurs of all kinds with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn business ideas into action.
Beth Zimmer, Managing Director of the Innovation Collaborative explains, "Start-ups create the most net new jobs and small businesses remain a fundamental economic driver for local economies and job creation. However, smaller-scale startups don’t receive the same level of support as their high-growth counterparts. The CO.STARTERS program narrows that gap." Studies of CO.STARTERS graduates across the country report they are generally more successful than other business start-ups who have not completed the program.
Carl Nicolia, Board Chair of the Innovation Collaborative, added, “We need more people with ideas to engage in entrepreneurial activity in Erie and across the region. The CO.STARTERS program is a very logical first step experience that will teach people how to navigate the entrepreneurial journey with the support of the many community resources that are here to help.” The 9-week experience teaches the mechanics of vetting a business idea and aligning the necessary components for a successful business launch. CO.STARTERS participants will grow their network of contacts and peers, and will be better prepared to take advantage of services that exist in Erie County and northwest PA to help entrepreneurs.  

In Erie, CO.STARTERS will be implemented and facilitated by 15 successful local entrepreneurs that were certified by CO.STARTERS leadership from Chattanooga, TN in November. The launch of the program is being funded and led through a collaboration of the following entrepreneurial support organizations: Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Bridgeway Capital, Erie Arts & Culture, the Erie Regional Library Foundation, the Innovation Collaborative, and Tech Tank.

“Bridgeway Capital is a proud supporter of entrepreneurs in the Erie Region and throughout Western Pennsylvania. The Erie CO.STARTERS program is the first step for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground. There are many resources available to individuals and businesses in Erie, and this is an invaluable program that will lead aspiring entrepreneurs down the right path,” said T.J.King, Director of the Erie Region for Bridgeway Capital.
The CO.STARTERS program is for anyone with an idea in any economic sector. “The Erie County Cultural Plan calls for enhanced networking, promotion and support for individual artists and creators in order to foster excellence, appreciation and to grow the market for their creative products. Erie Arts & Culture is proud to invest in Erie CO.STARTERS as a tool to help artists and creators become successful entrepreneurs whose work and presence is valued and sustained in our region,” stated Amanda Brown Sissem, Executive Director for Erie Arts & Culture.
The first nine-week CO.STARTERS program is slated to kick off in early March. Potential participants can apply at under the "Resources" tab.
“If you look beyond Silicon Valley and New York, there are countless communities full of talented entrepreneurs, but they lack the organized community support they need to thrive,” said Enoch Elwell, CO.STARTERS Founder. “CO.STARTERS provides a structure for communities to achieve their economic growth goals and gives them an easy way build the connections they are already trying to grow.”  Drawing from the experience of successful entrepreneurs and start-up experts from around the globe, CO.STARTERS walks aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs through lean, effective business modeling methods in a simple and intuitive way, with the help of a supportive community. The program has a global reach, serving 100+ communities across the United States, New Zealand, and Australia.

Learn more about CO.STARTERS!
Meet the facilitators
at our first
today, January 10th
at 5:00 PM
Blasco Library
See you there!

The first 9-week CO.STARTERS PROGRAM is slated to
 begin in early March. 
Click here to apply today!
Do you have a business idea? An innovative new product? Visit  CO.STARTERS website to learn more about the program
that has reached entrepreneurs across the globe.
Copyright © 2018 Innovation Collaborative, All rights reserved.

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