Starting Your Business in
4 Weeks | Sept 9-30

Presented in partnership with the African American Business Council in order to help spur strong minority entrepreneurship in our community

Starting a business without any guidance can be daunting. Why leap without having the tools to soar? Have an idea for a product or service but don’t know where to start? Here is your first step! Come learn how to turn your precious idea into an operational business from experts! In this FREE four-week long cohort, participants will learn about different aspects of starting a business, including identifying potential markets, writing a business plan, running the finances of a business and marketing a business. You’ll work with mentors and peers in fun breakout activities designed to help strengthen your business ideas and prepare you for success!

You must be able to attend orientation for this event on Tuesday, September 3rd at the same location.


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 9 | 6:30pm - 8:30pm

The Voice of Your Customer

A human-centered design thinking experience to understand future customers and their needs. Experiment with solutions through storytelling to gather feedback and learn quickly.

Homework: Sign up as an SBTDC client. Begin the Ice House Opportunity Discovery Canvas (Customer only). Talk to at least 3 potential customers.

SBTDC Business Launch Specialist: Send Start-up guide prior to next session to all attendees. Check in with participants about feedback received from future customers and how that affects their idea/business model.

Upon registering as an SBTDC client, you will receive: Industry market research/IBIS research results.

September 16 | 6:30pm - 8:30pm

A Plan for Success - Develop Your Business Model

Using the Ice House Opportunity Canvas, participants will visually fine-tune their Customer, Solution, and Connection and will receive feedback from others. The first steps of “how to” legitimize the business will be discussed.

Homework: Establish business structure (e.g., register LLC). Set up a Live Plan account. Start work on Business Plan using information from Opportunity Canvas developed today.

SBTDC Business Launch Specialist: Send Capital Opportunities guide prior to next session to all attendees.

SBTDC clients will receive: Feedback on Business Plan developed in Live Plan.

September 23 | 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Cash is King

Investment and initial capital, burnrates, cash flow, and/or product pricing will be developed by participants in the session. Live Plan and QuickBooks will be explored as a tool for monitoring long-term financials.

Homework: Develop cash flow projections. Establish QuickBooks account.

SBTDC Business Launch Specialist: Provide cash flow template.

SBTDC clients will receive: Review of projections. Comparison against industry standards (ProfitCents) where applicable.

September 30 | 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Pitch Night! Marketing your business and Celebrating your Business Launch

Using the insights about your customer, value proposition, and financials, you will develop and share your business pitch. Best practices for marketing your new business’ new product or service will be discussed.

This is also graduation night! Successes from the cohort will be shared and highlighted. Clients that completed all four modules receive an SBTDC Certificate of Completion.

SBTDC Business Launch Specialist: Refer established businesses to SBTDC Counselors and partners.


We are no longer accepting applications for the September cohort.


Cape Fear Community College (CFCC)
Union Station (Building 'U'), Room 528
502 N Front Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

Contact Us


803 S. College Rd, Suite A
Wilmington, NC 28403

Phone: (910) 962-3744

Email: uncw@sbtdc.org