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Innovation & Startups

GPEDC – Thinking about Starting a Biz?

Consider attending CoStarters…

What you will learn:

  • Identify and define real problems to solve
  • Deeply understand who your customers are
  • What products, services or experiences you can create for them
  • How to start a viable new business

Admission Requirements

As a life-long learner, you aspire or are willing to acquire the following:

  1. Open to learning & feedback
  2. Open & critical thinking
  3. Initiative with follow-through
  4. Capacity for calculated risk
  5. Focus on community

How to apply

If the line is busy, please call again.

Or email us at to schedule a time to meet.


Aug 26 – Nov 11, 2019


CO.STARTERS is a program that helps new business owners build a community around local businesses.  It is a nine-week program equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn business ideas into action.

Who’s It For?

Local & Main Street Businesses:

  • Convenience stores & Franchises
  • Dry cleaners, Hair salons & Spas
  • Farmers Markets & Restaurants
  • Internet, Web development & Technology businesses
  • Small Manufacturing & Professional Services
    (e.g., Accounting & Tax preparation business, etc.)
  • Small wholesalers and many others…

Key Outcomes

  • Identifying assumptions about why and how your businesses will work
  • Talk to customers to discover problems they need you to solve
  • Rapidly uncover flaws in your concepts and processes
  • Learn and uncover viable business models


Week 1: Knowing Yourself (Assumptions, Working Styles, Team Building, Obstacles)
Week 2: Knowing Your Customer (Problem, Solution, Benefit, Competition, Advantage, Customer)
Week 3: Getting the Relationship Right (Marketing & Message; Getting, Keeping & Growing Customers)
Week 4: Building the Model to Scale (Starting Small, Distribution, Revenue, Typical Sale, Price)
Week 5: Strengthening Your Structure (Business Structures, Licenses, IP, Hiring)
Week 6: Discovering the Bottom Line (Startup & Ongoing Needs, Fixed & Variable Costs, Break-Even Point)
Week 7: Accounting for Growth (Break-Even Point, Sales Projections, Cash Flow, Accounting)
Week 8: Planning for the Future (Raising Capital, Growth Plans, Goal Setting, Pitch Prep)
Week 9: Pitch Night/Sharing Your Story


$300 per participant


  • One-on-one innovation consulting
  • Customer and behavioral insights analysis
  • 6 month scholarship for co-working space
  • Talent development assistance
  • Business location and expansion assistance
  • Incentives and credits (e.g. Opportunity zones, etc.)

CoStarter Stories Peoria

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