CO.STARTERS program coming to Cedar Valley

CO.STARTERS, a nine-week program entrepreneurial training program, is coming to the Cedar Valley area this fall.

During CO.STARTERS, participants will develop and fine-tune their business ideas while getting real-time feedback from people in the community. 

Danny Laudick, Executive Director of Red Cedar, says he expects the first cohort to launch sometime this August and is planning to have around fifteen participants.

“A big part of what we’ve noticed from working with founders and startups in the area is that so much of it is based on this culture of learning from other people, bouncing ideas off each other and talking to your customers.” said Laudick. “And that sense of community was something we need to do a much stronger job of helping create and build in our area.”

According to their website, CO.STARTERS supported 129 different communities in 2018. Cedar Valley will be the first community in Iowa to go through the program.

Laudick says he plans to have four cohorts per year go through the program.

“We want it to be something we’re committing to long-term,” said Laudick. “People knowing that this is going to keep going and that even if you’re ready now you can come to it at a later point. This is something we want to invest in to really build a culture and network around.”

Earlier this week, the community went through two days of community training to prepare for the program. CO.STARTERS facilitators who’ve implemented the program in other communities came in and worked with community members on how to best implement the program in the Cedar Valley.

“A lot of how CO.STARTERS is designed is meant to break down some of those barriers that keep people from participating in entrepreneurship,” said Laudick. “We were able to have SBDC, some of our Community Main Streets, colleges and universities come participate. We want to make sure we are doing this in a way that compliments what they’re doing.”

Previous coverage

Red Cedar launches seed fund to invest in Cedar Valley startup -Feb. 6, 2019

Multi-tasking electric stove sparked in Cedar Valley -May 29, 2019