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1323 6th Ave N.
Nashville, TN, 37208

The Skillery is a Nashville coworking space with resources and programming for freelancers, entrepreneurs, small teams and independent professionals, all aimed at making work meaningful, satisfying and unabashedly fun.

The word from CO.STARTERS graduates

Blog Posts

Welcome to our blog, where we share stories and profiles of the entrepreneurs and events that call The Skillery home.

The word from CO.STARTERS graduates

Nicole Keiper

In 2014, we launched CO.STARTERS at The Skillery, a quarterly, nine-week business development program focused on doing — during every session, we’re working on students’ businesses and ideas directly, shaping, fine-tuning and focusing.

On July 9, the summer 2015 CO.STARTERS session begins, with another cohort of creative entrepreneurs (there are still a few spaces left, if you want in).

Come this cohort’s Pitch Night — our commencement ceremony, of sorts, during which CO.STARTERS grads present their businesses to an audience of supporters — we’ll have worked alongside more than 50 local entrepreneurs, who’ve created thriving Nashville food tours, a buzzing West Nashville home goods shop, an impeccably cool event decor business and lots more.

We try not to toot The Skillery horn too hard, but we’re truly proud of and inspired by our crew of CO.STARTERS at The Skillery grads, and humbled that they’ve allowed us to be a part of their stories. 

If you’re thinking about launching a business, or recently brought one to life, we’d love to help you on the path toward making a living doing what you love. Get some more CO.STARTERS info here — below, we wanted some of our grads to do the talking, for future entrepreneurs who might be unsure about taking the leap.

CO.STARTERS is one of the best investments I have ever made in my business and in myself. Carving out the time to intensely focus on message and branding, legal and financial aspects of my business, and my customers, helped me make some big decisions about why I am doing what I am doing. I walked away from this experience leaps and bounds ahead of where I had been when I started.
— Emily Marlow, handcrafted pottery, textiles and prints brand 400 Moons
CO.STARTERS probably saved me years of doing things wrong. It’s worth it for the networking alone, but to have a dedicated mastermind for three hours every week when just starting out is priceless.
— Mariel Heart, Accounting for Jewelers
What we appreciated most about CO.STARTERS was the community. We were grateful to be in a room full of creative thinkers weekly who challenged and encouraged us to think about our business differently.
— Kimberly Lexow, pop-up lunch providers Sifted
As a relative newcomer to Nashville, I didn’t have many connections to the local entrepreneur community. Thanks to CO.STARTERS, I have so many more connections and resources to continue my growth.
— Amy Nathan, virtual marketing department Grex Marketing
For me, it was invaluable to meet regularly with a group of people who were all more or less at the same point in their business. Successes, failures, and frustrations were shared, understood, and constructively worked as a group. It’s almost like having your own entrepreneurial think tank. And having the class hosted in a coworking space like the Skillery has introduced me to another network of entrepreneurs, many of whom have already offered help and valuable advice.
— Mary Mooney, artist
I couldn’t have launched Walk Eat Nashville without the help of The Skillery and its founder Matt Dudley.
— Karen-Lee Ryan, Walk Eat Nashville food tours
For me, CO.STARTERS was all about having conversations — an important jumping off point for us to really understand who our customers are and how to reach them.
— Mandy Pellegrin, events decor company Craftcourse
I would have to say I learned as much from my classmates and their experiences as I did from the actual curriculum. I would definitely recommend the class to someone just starting out, as it is a great way to focus and organize your thoughts and keep you moving forward.
— Dan McAdams, catered food delivery service HomeBiscuit
Through my experience with CO.STARTERS and The Skillery, I was able to refine my business concept in a hands-on, encouraging environment. The guest speakers, Deep Dive events, and relations I formed were invaluable.
— Sara Lynes, Off the Vine Ketchup
Enrolling in the CO.STARTERS class was the best decision I could’ve made after quitting my job to pursue my food business idea. I learned so much from both Matt Dudley and my fellow classmates that the course is totally invaluable. My food business was just a random thought and idea I had and I don’t believe I ever would’ve pursued it had it not been for the class pushing me and helping me to do so! Amma Nashville started as just a paratha sandwich lunch bar and turned into a South Indian Brunch food cart. I love the idea and believe I can be very successful with it now that I have a better understanding of how to run a business.
— Isabel Thottam, South Indian Brunch food cart Amma Nashville
CO.STARTERS made a huge difference in my business plan. I was on a totally different path when I started, and CO.STARTERS helped me figure out what it was that I really wanted. Between that, the others in the cohort, and Matt/Skillery, I couldn’t have asked for a better nine weeks.
— Courtney Grinfeld Fabio, Rock + Roll Bakery
I loved CO.STARTERS! I would recommend it to anyone who is serious about their idea/business. I was pushed by the class to talk to customers in a way I never would have done on my own. I learned how to talk about my business in a much more effective way. And the best thing, I believe, was the relationships I formed with the other students who just get it like non entrepreneurs can’t get it because they are going through the same types of things and the same struggles and you all get to share in each others successes as well. It’s instant community because you are all drawn together for common reasons.
— Casey Hannah, stationery and paper goods brand Context Studio
The CO.STARTERS experience was invaluable to developing my product. I started with a very vague idea of what I wanted to do and ‘graduated’ with a concrete concept and plan. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of working with other food entrepreneurs and felt inspired and supported to take my business to the next step.
— Ann Williams, nutrient-packed seed blend mix Mom Nom Foods