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First Cohort of STARTERS graduate from the CO.STARTERS Program

Brescia University is pleased to announce the first cohort of STARTERS from the CO.STARTERS Program has graduated from the program. This is the first cohort to complete the program in the state of Kentucky. The next cohort will begin sessions on January 20th and applications are currently being accepted.

CO.STARTERS is a nine-week program that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn business ideas into action. Unlike traditional platforms, CO.STARTERS applies the lean business modeling methods popular among high-growth start-ups to small businesses of all kinds and is a platform to help communities grow local business.

“Promoting entrepreneurship is critical to job creation; and over the course of time the support for new ideas and a ‘can do’ attitude become part of the community’s cultural fabric,” stated Rick Higdon, Executive Director at Ernst & Young, Brescia Alumni and advocate of the program.

Brescia University, the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation (EDC), and the Kentucky Innovation Network announced the intent to offer this nationally renowned business development program to Greater Owensboro back in the summer.

“We couldn’t be happier with how the program went and have had an excellent response from our participants. I had the opportunity to engage many in the business community to set up the infrastructure required to assure the program would be successful.  It was a great honor meeting and talking with so many business leaders who wanted to be a part of the CO.STARTERS program in one way or another,” stated Helen Bennett, Program Coordinator.

One of those key people was John Jurkiewicz, President of Jurkiewicz Consulting, who became the first facilitator of the first CO.STARTERS cohort in the state of Kentucky.    John has forty years’ experience in operations, human resource management, and business coaching.

The cohort concluded with 4 cohorts, representing various talents and experiences, bringing ideas ranging from property management to irrigation.

Each week built upon the previous week with topics that covered everything from knowing your market to why legal stuff matters to even setting up a good accounting system.

The STARTERS presented on week 9, Pitch Night and their presentations were observed by 6 guests: Brescia’s President, Father Larry Hostetter, Vice President of the EDC, Joe Berry and representatives from U.S. Bank, Pure Barre and Aquascape Pool & Spa.

The feedback to each of the 4 “STARTERS” was positive and encouraging, including tips on their presentations and suggestions of how to take their ideas to the next level.

“I am confident we will have a business owner emerge from this first cohort,” stated Bennett.

One STARTER stated, “I feel this class is perfect for me, very we’ll presented, and truly something I need to completely grasp.  Thank you very much for presenting this class.”

Another STARTER who was already one year into his business, credited CO.STARTERS with rejuvenating him.   He said, “I was reenergized by the cohort.   I remembered why I wanted to start my business and regained focus on my business goals.”

Brescia would like to extend a thank you to the following community members who contributed to the program over the nine weeks: Ken Stock, Vice President of Operations at Kenergy, Mike Edge, Business Development and Sales for Upright Communications, Ed Hodskins, Attorney at Thacker, Bickel, Hodskins & Thacker, L.L.P., Rick Higdon, Advisor – Ernst & Young, Bobby Huff, Tax Senior with Riney Hancock CPAs PSC., Kyle Gorman, General Manager and Fred Emory, Director of Business Development for Gorman and Associates, Jason Kyle, Co-founder of Red Pixel, Inc.

“Being the first CO.STARTERS cohort in the state of Kentucky we have learned a great deal and are confident some of the changes we are planning to make will only make this experience more meaningful to all who participate.   We have many new ideas for the future of this program and are excited as we look forward to planning for the spring,” stated Bennett.

Applications are currently being accepted for the next cohort, which begins January 20th and will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-7 pm.  Sessions will be held on campus at Brescia University, located at 717 Frederica Street in Owensboro.

For questions or to apply for the program, please contact Program Administrator, Helen Bennett, at [email protected] or 270-315-4331.