WHAT IS CO.STARTERS?
CO.STARTERS is a nine-week business development program that helps aspiring entrepreneurs put ideas into action, and turn a passion into a sustainable and thriving small business.
Participants will be accepted on a rolling application basis for our next cohort, which will start on May 3rd and continue weekly from 6-9pm for nine weeks.
Spring Class: May 3rd -June 28th
Summer Class: July 12- Sept 6th
Fall Class: Sept 20th - Nov 15th
WHO’S IT FOR?
If you're an aspiring entrepreneur, or a seasoned entrepreneur looking to launch a new product or service, CO.STARTERS is for you. The only real prerequisites are: having a business idea you're ready, willing and excited to share and work on; and 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 small business, we'd love to hear from you.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
CO.STARTERS walks small business owners through effective business modeling methods in a simple and intuitive way, and with the help of a supportive community.
Rather than treating a startup like a large corporation and writing a detailed business plan, CO.STARTERS participants are encouraged to build and test small models first. In the process, participants receive real-time customer feedback, update their models to meet customer needs and avoid creating businesses based on incorrect assumptions.
WHAT TO EXPECT
During CO.STARTERS with Folkways, you're not being lectured. This is an action-driven, collaborative process with a small and supportive group of like-minded entrepreneurs, led by a facilitator who'll introduce concepts and help you immediately put them to work. We'll discuss concepts, problems and solutions during class; you'll apply them to your project or business during the week; and we'll review and fine-tune together, so we're all shaping toward success.
During CO.STARTERS with Folkways, you’ll develop and fine-tune your business idea, building models based on your assumptions, tweaking your next steps through real-time customer feedback, learning valuable management and marketing skills and receiving constructive feedback from advisers, peers and local businesses. By honing your business and updating your approach based on real feedback and customer demand, you’ll gain the skills you need to develop a viable business model.
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-Event 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: Sharing your Story
Uses simple, easy to understand language and addresses the full spectrum of adult learning styles.
Offers a tangible process for identifying, testing and adapting business assumptions to create a viable startup, and provides practical steps to launch, rather than theoretical concepts.
Brings people together to learn from one another, creating a strong network of support for startups
Helps you and your business benefit from our welcoming community of creative entrepreneurs.
Assumes customers should be the primary concern in every aspect of creating a business.
Helps shape passions into viable and sustainable business models, whether you're a graphic designer, a jewelry maker or the next next big software success story.
CO.STARTERS with Folkways lasts nine weeks, meeting one evening a week for three hours. Facilitators include educators and active entrepreneurs, and guest speakers include specialists and professionals from Fargo’s leading marketing, branding, legal and finance firms and agencies, as well as local entrepreneurs.
The first course will start on February 22nd and will take place every Tuesday evening from 6-9pm each week.
The total course fee for our CO.STARTERS General Session is $500, which includes
- course materials
- professional course facilitator with office hours to address your business development needs
- access to a list of members of the business community who are ready to meet with students
- small business resources
- discounted membership at the Prairie Den Coworking during the course
If you need financial aid or would like to start a payment plan, please reach out to us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our experienced and trained facilitators are here to help you every step of the way. With office hours, access to resources, and their knowledge of our course curriculum, our facilitators will hold you accountable to starting your business.
Nicholas Killoran has 18 years of management experience specializing in change management, insurance and financial products, sales/marketing, and operations. He has spent his professional career building and developing teams to grow small business. Nick has been a part of two family businesses and started his own business in 2010 (Great North Insurance) as well as two residential property companies in the last four years. Great North Insurance was awarded ‘50 Best Places to Work’ by Prairie Business Magazine, and the ‘2016 Small Business of the Year’ award for the Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo Chamber of Commerce. Nick was a finalist for ‘2016 Entrepreneur of the Year’ by the Chamber of Commerce and named to the ‘2016 Prairie Business 40 under 40’ list.
Saree Reveling has 16 years of experience in the legal field and 3 years of experience as the Marketing Director for Integrity 1st Insurance, an agency she owns with her fiancé. An entrepreneur at heart, Saree believes community connections and collaboration are essential for any business to be successful and values a team approach to business. She is also the Success Coach for the Dakotas Region of Master Networks where she helps recruit and train business leaders to run successful networking chapters focused on personal and professional development. Saree has assisted many entrepreneurs and small business owners to take their ideas and businesses to the next level and speaks to organizations on personalities in the workplace and the Master Skill of Connecting.