CO.STARTERS for Food Entrepreneurs
CO.STARTERS for Food Entrepreneurs — a nine-week business development program and a partnership between The Skillery and Batch Nashville — was designed to help food entrepreneurs start, shape and/or grow their culinary businesses.
CO.STARTERS for Food Entrepreneurs
The fourth installment of CO.STARTERS at The Skillery — our ongoing, nine-week business development program — comes with a twist. From April 9 to June 2, we’ll focus on helping food entrepreneurs start, shape and/or grow their culinary businesses during the first CO.STARTERS for Food Entrepreneurs, a partnership between The Skillery and Nashville-bred, locally focused gifts and goods subscription service Batch Nashville.
CO.STARTERS FOR FOOD ENTREPRENEURS
April 9 - June 2, 2015
At The Skillery
What’s different about CO.STARTERS for Food Entrepreneurs?
The CO.STARTERS curriculum is focused on developing and fine-tuning cohort members’ businesses and business ideas in a hands-on, approachable way — we build models based on your assumptions, tweak your next steps through real-time customer feedback, learn valuable management and marketing skills and receive constructive feedback from advisors, peers and local businesses.
During CO.STARTERS for Food Entrepreneurs, we’ll laser-focus that approach on the unique needs of food entrepreneurs. Cohort members will learn from guest speakers and advisers who’ve launched successful food-based businesses in Nashville, and will take part in Deep Dive educational events that tackle essential food-biz topics, including food branding, navigating city and state food regulations and financial planning.
Through our partnership with locally celebrated and rapidly growing Batch, CO.STARTERS for Food Entrepreneurs participants will have access and exposure to valuable resources and food industry experts to help shine a light on the way forward.
Who's it for?
If you’ve launched or are hoping to launch a business with a food focus — from a coffee shop to a mail-order confection company — and feel like a boost in business knowledge and a focused support system would help you move forward, CO.STARTERS for Food Entrepreneurs was designed with you in mind.
The curriculum isn’t based on memorizing and testing, but doing. And we aren’t tackling theoretical concepts — we’re working directly on improving and fine-tuning your business. CO.STARTERS, on the whole, is designed for entrepreneurs who want hands-on, action-based learning.
During CO.STARTERS for Food Entrepreneurs, 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 advisors, 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 (Thursday, April 9, 6-9 p.m.)
Assumptions, working styles, team building, obstacles
Week 2: Knowing Your Customer (Thursday, April 16, 6-9 p.m.)
Problem, solution, benefit, competition, advantage, customer
Week 3: Getting the Relationship Right (Thursday, April 23, 6-9 p.m.)
Marketing & message; getting, keeping & growing customers
Week 4: Building the Model to Scale (Tuesday, April 28, 6-9 p.m.)
Starting small, distribution, revenue, typical sale, price
Week 5: Strengthening Your Structure (Thursday, May 7, 6-9 p.m.)
Business structures, licenses, IP, hiring
Week 6: Discovering the Bottom Line (Thursday, May 14, 6-9 p.m.)
Startup/ongoing needs, fixed/variable costs, break-even point
Week 7: Accounting for Growth (Thursday, May 21, 6-9 p.m.)
Break-even point, sales projections, cash flow, accounting
Week 8: Planning for the Future (Thursday, May 28, 6-9 p.m.)
Raising capital, growth plans, goal setting, pitch prep
Week 9: Pitch Night: Sharing Your Story (Tuesday, June 2, 6-9 p.m.)
Deep dive educational sessions.
At these four evening sessions, we’ll dive deeper into topics essential to budding and burgeoning food entrepreneurs, and follow up our learning with happy hour meet and greets. Outside students are invited to attend these sessions as à la carte classes, but all four Deep Dives are included for CO.STARTERS for Food Entrepreneurs cohort members.
Starting a Food Business in Nashville
Monday, April 13, 6-8:30 p.m.
Info and registration here
Branding and Marketing for the Food Industry
Monday, April 27, 6-8:30 p.m.
Info and registration here
Legal Issues for Food Entrepreneurs
Tuesday, May 12, 6-8:30 p.m. (tentative)
Details to come
Financial Planning for the Food Industry
Tuesday, May 26, 6-8:30 p.m. (tentative)
Details to come
ADDED BENEFIT FOR THE COHORT
Along with nine weeks of hands-on education tailored toward the needs of your food business — plus direction, shared expertise and support from successful local food entrepreneurs — cohort members receive:
- Three months of full-time membership at The Skillery's coworking space to work on your business and surround yourself with other creative entrepreneurs, from graphic designers to accountants to marketing pros
- Admission to four Deep Dive educational sessions on topics specific to the food industry
- Access to the nationwide network of CO.STARTERS alumni, as well as online resources, documents and more
- A super comfy Skillery T-shirt. Nashville's best, we promise.
Our mentors and advisors.
CO.STARTERS for Food Entrepreneurs features guest speakers, teachers, mentors and advisors from across the food industry. Some of the seasoned professionals who will be joining us:
And many more. Want to join this list? Are you a seasoned, food-focused entrepreneur? Drop us a line.
CO.STARTERS for Food Entrepreneurs lasts nine weeks, meeting one evening a week for three hours. In addition, participants are welcome to attend additional education and networking opportunities, free of charge, including four Deep Dive classes on Tuesday nights.
The total course fee is $1475, which includes course materials, office hours with the course facilitator to address your business development needs, access to community events, networking opportunities and small business resources and more. All class participants also receive a three-month, full-time membership to The Skillery, including discounts on classes and workshops, access to our coworking space, and discounts with partner businesses in Nashville.
The program will run April 9 - June 2, 2015, meeting one night a week from 6-9PM, and culminating in a Pitch Night on Tuesday June 2, from 6-9PM. Optional Deep Dive classes will be held on four nights (April 13 and 27, and May 12 and 26).
The class will be held at The Skillery, 1323 6th Ave. N., in Germantown.
Whether you’re an owner of an existing business or are simply exploring a startup concept, you are welcome to apply. You will need a well-articulated description of the product or service you offer (or plan on offering) and a description of your consumer, client, or target audience.
We're looking for entrepreneurs who represent a diverse range of sectors and backgrounds, in order to establish a cohort that incorporates both established businesses and startup concepts. We screen our applicants, and space is extremely limited.
Deposit & Registration
There is no application fee. If accepted into the program, a 50 percent deposit will be required immediately to reserve your seat. This deposit applies toward the course fee and is non-refundable. The balance of the registration fee will be due 14 days prior to the start of the course.
Got questions about CO.STARTERS for Food Entrepreneurs? Drop us a line, and we'd be happy to answer.
Not a food entrepreneur? Join our next CO.STARTERS General Session! Learn more.