Elevate Your Business in 2024 With Brooking’s Free Co.Starters Bootcamp for Entrepreneurs

Elevate Your Business in 2024 With Brooking’s Free Co.Starters Bootcamp for Entrepreneurs Main Photo

12 Jan 2024

Aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs can take their businesses to the next level this January with Co.Starters, a three-day accelerator program held in Brookings. From January 26th through the 28th, local business owners and budding entrepreneurs can go through a four-part bootcamp to elaborate on their business models, improve their marketing efforts, and get help turning their ideas into realities. The entire bootcamp is free to attend.

“Pack an open mind and your entrepreneurial spirit,” says Carrie Kuhl, CEO and founder of UpFrame Creative. “All the necessary materials are provided. It's less about what's in your bag and more about being mentally prepared to engage and absorb the experience.”

Attendees who are interested in Co.Starters can fill out the application to join. If you are unable to attend this bootcamp, completing the interest form will help you learn about future activities through the program.

Co.Starters Provides $3,300 in Value to Participants for FREE

It’s not easy for entrepreneurs to give up their time, but the three days you spend at the Co.Starters bootcamp will be worth it. It’s nearly impossible to find a similar quality program with viable ideas that is free for business owners and Brookings residents. Here’s how the $3,300 value breaks down:

  • Participant materials: $200
  • Group coaching: $3,000 (10 sessions over the course of 30 hours)
  • Access to experts: $100 (through one group session)

Brookings is able to offer this program for free through the Community Navigator Pilot Program grant, which is powered by the Small Business Administration.

“Brookings is full of business owners who want to grow and potential entrepreneurs who need to build their skills so they can get started,” says Stephanie Mason, VP of Economic Development and Operations for Brookings EDC. “By using the SBA grant to provide training and support to entrepreneurs, we can set them up for success, helping Brookings grow with local talent.” 

This Program Can Also Benefit Experienced Business Owners

You don’t have to be a fresh entrepreneur to benefit from the Co.Starters bootcamp. Many attendees have operated their companies for years and want to improve their current practices or expand their businesses.

“For seasoned entrepreneurs, maintaining a consistent focus on the road ahead can prove challenging when they get busy,” says Kuhl. “The visual business planning done in the bootcamp serves as a tool for gaining clarity on objectives, reassessing strategies, and identifying new areas for improvement.”

New entrepreneurs who haven’t launched their businesses yet are also welcome to attend if they have a concept they are ready to test. This program focuses on actionable goals and strategies for improvement over 30, 60, and 90 days. 

Alumni Benefit from the Program Long After it Ends

One of the best ways to learn about Co.Starters is to hear from alumni who have attended this bootcamp.  

William Landsman, Creative Director of Eclectic Bison Productions, is an alumnus of the Co.Starters bootcamp. After attending this event, he won the Startup Sioux Falls Pitch Competition, which opened up opportunities to work with Leadership South Dakota. This program also helped Landsman develop professional relationships with business leaders across Brookings and Sioux Falls, with whom he keeps up with outside class.

“Jump in with both feet and sign up,” says Landsman. “No matter where you are at, the program is set up to help move you forward, even if you are just starting out or have been in business awhile. I learned something new every week, even though I had been running my business for some time.” 

Register or Reach Out to Learn More

Co.Starters has limited space in this bootcamp, so register early to ensure you can attend. If you have any questions, contact Stephanie Mason at stephanie@brookingsedc.com or Carrie Kuhl at carrie@upframecreative.com. They are happy to tell you more about the program to confirm if it’s a good fit for you.

For more details about the City of Brookings Community Economic Development Master Plan 2023-2027, please call our team at the Brookings Economic Development Corporation. We can be reached at (605) 697-8103 or bedc@brookingsedc.com.


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