9/24 - 10/15
Raleigh, NC

Learn More

Kickstart Your Business in
4 Weeks

Learn from the experts how to transform your great idea into an operational business! In this FREE four week program, we’ll take you through the process of starting your business, including identifying potential markets, learning your customer’s needs, creating a business plan, understanding business finances, and marketing your products and services. You’ll work with mentors and peers through fun breakout activities and targeted exercises designed to sharpen your skills, strengthen your business, and prepare you to successfully take the leap!


Network with other entrepreneurs in a fun and collaborative environment

Proven Approach

Uses proven methodology for starting diverse businesses

Market Research

Learn how to conduct thorough market research from the experts

Expand your Resume

Certificate of completion


Business Structure

Help with establishing your business structure

Dreams to Fruition

Learn steps needed to make your entrepreneurial dreams come true

Business Plan

Create your unique business plan

Solid Foundation

Learn how to create a customer-centric foundation for your business that will keep your customers satisfied and returning

Seminar Outline

September 24 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm

The Voice of Your Customer

Our journey begins with the techniques of customer discovery and human-centered design. Here we will explore how to quickly and efficiently identify your target customers through a process of learning their most important needs. Using this information, participants will start building the foundation of their business plan by identifying the critical problem to be solved.

Next Steps: Sign up as an SBTDC client. Begin the Icehouse Customer Discovery Canvas. Talk to at least 3 potential customers. Submit request for free Industry Market Research.

October 1 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Planning for Success

In Week 2 participants will fine tune their understanding of the target market and problem to be solved through feedback from both mentors and their peers. Participants will then learn the basics of creating a good business plan, building upon previous exercises and their “Unique Selling Proposition” to start drafting a business plan of their own. Finally, we will discuss the various types of business entities, including how to properly establish your company.

Next Steps: Begin drafting your business plan using the Opportunity Canvas developed today. Submit your documents for incorporation!

October 8 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Understanding Business Finances & Operations

In Week 3, participants will start to learn about the operational skills critical to running any successful business. Here we will take a broad look at financial planning and analysis, as well as some of the “unknown unknowns” of business operations. Emphasis will be placed on understanding core concepts and how they impact business decisions. Week 3 will conclude by discussing how to bring everything together in a 2-minute “Business Pitch” to be shared Week 4.

Next Steps: Start drafting your financial projections and create a 2-minute pitch! Assistance will be provided as needed.

October 15 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Taking the Leap!

Applying everything learned to-date, participants will kick-off the final session by sharing their “Business Pitch” with peers and mentors. This is a great opportunity to practice pitching your vision, while receiving constructive feedback during Q & A. Following pitches, we will explore best practices and helpful approaches to marketing your business, finally concluding with a discussion of next steps, local resources and potential sources of funding for both small businesses and tech startups.

All participants who have completed the program will receive an SBTDC Certificate of Completion.

Next Steps: Schedule additional one-on-one business counseling through the SBTDC as needed.


Applications for Taking the Leap are now closed. Click here to register as a Client and get informed about the next cohort.


HQ Raleigh Gateway Plaza
2409-107 Crabtree Blvd
Raleigh, NC 27604

Contact Us


1021 Main Campus Dr
Suite 200, CB#7019
Raleigh, NC 27606

Phone: (919) 513-1500

Email: ncsu@sbtdc.org