Company Lab’s Springboard Program gets revamped curriculum, new name

Authored By james.harrison

Five years and more than 700 graduates later, leaders of The Company Lab’s Springboard Program are announcing a new curriculum. 

And this time, leaders are hoping to share it nationwide. 

The new version of business program Springboard, called CO.STARTERS, combines elements of the past program with new startup methods championed by “forward-thinking entrepreneurs” and “startup thought leaders.” The new curriculum will reflect current startup trends, which have changed dramatically since Springboard was first launched in 2008. 

“We’ve learned a lot from the hundreds of Springboard graduates who have launched their businesses with us,” Enoch Elwell, program director for The Company Lab, said in a prepared statement. “We’ve blended their feedback with the high-growth startup principles we use in the Gig Tank accelerator program, giving small businesses powerful tools that don’t require an MBA to understand.”

Since its inception, the nine-week Springboard Program has been offered in settings outside The Company Lab, including LAUNCH Chattanooga, Glass House Collective, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Covenant College and the Urban League. Organizers said they hope to build upon Springboard’s successes to begin scaling their methodologies to entrepreneurs across the country. 

According to the news release, organizations in Detroit, Cincinnati and Phoenix are already using pilot versions of the new CO.STARTERS Program. Elwell said more than 80 people had begun CO.STARTERS in recent weeks.

Pricing for the new course, which begins in January of next year, will range from $100 to $500 on a sliding scale. Although any revenues generated by sales of the curriculum won’t affect funding The Company Lab receives from the state, Elwell said the goal was for the program to contribute to the organization’s overall sustainability.

“We see a lot of potential for it,” he said. “This is just one part of the sustainability process. A lot of communities look at Chattanooga and see where we were seven years ago and say, ‘We want to do that, too.’ We see a lot of opportunity.”

To find out more about the program, click here.