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CO.STARTERS helps communities build vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems by equipping them with the best tools and resources needed to support starters of all kinds.


Coming to Greater Peoria. Spring 2019.

Apply to the program

The Spring cohort is now full, but you can apply for the Fall cohort now.

Space is limited, so start your application as soon as possible. It’s totally free to apply.

Applications will be followed up with a brief webchat with someone from the CO.STARTERS facilitator team.
There is limited space in each cohort, and we plan to run two cohorts per year for the next five years.

Objective: 100 Starters in 5 Years


CO.STARTERS is a platform to help communities grow local business. This nine-week program equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn business ideas into action.

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 (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 business, we want you.

What To Expect

CO.STARTERS is an action-driven, collaborative process with a small and supportive group of like-minded people. Led by a facilitator who is an experienced entrepreneur, you’ll identify your assumptions about why and how your businesses will work and then talk to customers in order to validate your ideas. This approach enables you to rapidly uncover flaws in your concept and find viable models more quickly. You’ll leave the program with a deeper understanding of how to create a sustainable business, articulate your model, and repeat the process with your next great idea.



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-Even 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: Pitch Night/Sharing Your Story

What is the cost?

$200 per participant

The Greater Peoria EDC, City of Peoria, and SBDC at Bradley all help to keep the cost down from $400-500 because they believe that entrepreneurship is critical to this region.
CO.STARTERS is open to applicants from Peoria County and several surrounding counties.
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