Sky City Entrepreneur Center celebrating latest cohort to complete CO.STARTERS program
The three-month program helps participants develop and fine-tune their business ideas, determining next steps through real-time feedback from people in the community.
Blount County’s Sky City Entrepreneur Center is celebrating the graduation of the third cohort for its CO.STARTERS program which helps current and potential business owners create a solid business plan.
Over a three-month period, participants enter into a facilitator-led, collaborative process with a small and supportive group of 10-15 like-minded peers. In the case of the current cohort, it was a dozen individuals. Over 10 sessions, the participants develop and fine-tune their ideas using the CO.STARTERS Canvas, critically examining every part and determining the next steps through real-time feedback from people in the community. Participants leave the program with a deeper understanding of how to create a sustainable venture, articulate their models, and repeat the process with the next great idea.
One of the participants was Sara Garnett, Owner of Raised Valley Ranch. She captured one of the two Audience Choice Awards in Sky City’s mid-February “Launchpad Pitch Event.” We subsequently spotlighted her entrepreneurial journey and Garnett’s focus on equine therapy in this recent teknovation.biz article.
Others who completed the third cohort were:
- Michael Amerlan who started Tennessee Track and Cross Country Coaches Association, a nonprofit serving coaches;
- Bryan Baker whose company named Five Raccoons Forge provides custom blacksmithing services;
- Melonie Effler who has more than 95,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel named In the Kitchen with Momma Mel;
- Chuck Finley, a watercolor artist with a business named CFinleyArt;
- Joan Harris who runs Common Sense Pest Control;
- Daniel Ritchey who offers a wide range of exterior cleaning services through his business named TN Exterior Cleaning Services;
- Lauri Lee Roseberry whose nonprofit – Nurtured Motherhood – supports new mothers;
- Megan Smith who operates a cut flower farm;
- Tim and Yvonne Smith, Owners of Creative Spark Studio in Maryville; and
- Sunny Tune whose business EastTNSoapworks makes handcrafted bath and beauty products.
Sky City posted a video featuring many of the participants describing their experience. You can watch it here. The Daily Times, which covers Blount County, also spotlighted the program in a full-page article that was published earlier this week. The link is here although you might need a subscription.