The Company Lab Announces Nationwide Launch Of CO.STARTERS

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Company Lab Monday announced the nationwide launch of its CO.STARTERS business model development program. The program has been adopted by over a dozen entrepreneurial organizations in cities around the country including Phoenix, Cincinnati, Lakeland, Fla.; Fort Wayne, Ind., Johnson City, Tenn., Crossville, Tenn. and Chattanooga. 

CO.STARTERS takes the lessons learned through working with thousands of local creative entrepreneurs and combines that with industry changing startup methods drawn from the research and experience of forward-thinking entrepreneurs and startup thought leaders across the country, officials said. 

“There is a new approach to business in the high-growth startup world,” said Enoch Elwell, director of CO.STARTERS. “Through CO.STARTERS, we’ve adapted and applied those highly effective proven methods to micro-business, bringing together a community where these founders can thrive.” 

High-growth startups are increasingly focusing on customer driven business model development by building and testing small models before writing detailed plans. This allows for real-time customer feedback and more efficient model updates, helping entrepreneurs to avoid building businesses based on incorrect assumptions, officials said. 

The CO.STARTERS curriculum incorporates this strategy in a way that’s accessible and relevant to small-business owners. The CO.STARTERS model has been tested for years in Chattanooga, Cincinnati and Detroit, and it’s now rolling out in other emerging startup communities across the nation. 

Hustle PHX, based in Phoenix, provides programs, mentorship and capital to entrepreneurs in underserved urban communities. The organization implemented the CO.STARTERS program in June. 

“CO.STARTERS helps to alleviate a lot of the issues and problems that entrepreneurs may run into,” said Oye Waddell, the executive director of Hustle PHX. “It’s a snapshot of what you need to start a business, and it gives entrepreneurs a foundation to move forward and accelerate their ideas.”

Small business remains one of the economic drivers for local economies and job creation, but these smaller-scale startups have not received the same level of support as their high-growth counterparts. CO.STARTERS aims to narrow that gap.

“If you look beyond Silicon Valley and New York, there are countless communities that are full of talented entrepreneurs, but they lack the organized community support they need to thrive,” said Mr. Elwell. “CO.STARTERS brings together the community, resources, knowledge and methodology that startups can use to successfully launch and ultimately build a strong local economy.”

For more information on CO.STARTERS, visit

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