Staff Report From Middle Georgia CEO
Friday, September 15th, 2017

Mercer Innovation Center will offer CO.STARTERS, a nine-week, cohort-based program that equips entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships and tools needed to turn business ideas into action, beginning Oct. 2.

Drawing from the experience of successful entrepreneurs and startup veterans from around the globe, CO.STARTERS walks creative small-business owners through lean, 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.

The CO.STARTERS program has a global reach, serving numerous communities across the U.S., New Zealand and Australia.

“We are excited to be adding CO.STARTERS to the Mercer Innovation Center program offerings,” said Stephanie Howard, deputy director of the MIC. “This hands-on program will be an asset to the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Macon-Bibb community.”

Registration, which includes a one-time fee of $199, is now open to the public and can be completed by visiting mic.mercer.edu/co-starters or emailing mic@mercer.edu.   Small business remains one of the fundamental economic drivers for local economies and job creation, but smaller-scale startups traditionally have not received the same level of support as their high-growth counterparts. CO.STARTERS aims to narrow that gap.

“If you look beyond Silicon Valley and New York, there are countless communities that are full of talented entrepreneurs, but they lack the organized community support they need to thrive,” said Enoch Elwell, founder of CO.STARTERS. “CO.STARTERS provides a structure for these communities to achieve their economic growth goals and gives them an easy way build the connections they are already trying to grow.”