Blackstone Business Launch

Downtown Blackstone, Inc. is proud to host the Blackstone Business Launch program for entrepreneurs who want to start or grow a business in Blackstone’s Historic Business District. In partnership with the Longwood SBDC and the SOVA Innovation Hub, our Blackstone Business Launch will utilize the CO.STARTERS training program curriculum.



CO.STARTERS Core is a ten-week, cohort-based program that equips entrepreneurs of all kinds with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn business ideas into action.


Who is CO.STARTERS for?

You! The only real prerequisites to joining the program are (1) having an idea, (2) being willing to question, shape and fine-tune that idea, and (3) being willing to talk about the idea with others.


How does it work?

Participants enter into a facilitator-led, collaborative process with a small and supportive group of 10-15 like-minded peers. Brandon Hennessey and Katherine Beale of the Longwood SBDC are our facilitators. Working together, participants develop and fine-tune their ideas, critically examining every part and determining next steps through real-time feedback from people in the community, using a simplified version of the Business Model Canvas.


What are the benefits?

The CO.STARTERS approach enables entrepreneurs to rapidly uncover flaws in their concepts and find viable models more quickly. Participants leave the program with a deeper understanding of how to create a sustainable business, articulate their models, and repeat the process with the next great idea.



The fee for the program is $500 per person which includes the ten week training and all course materials. Scholarships and sliding scale fees are available to subsidize this cost, so please do not let the program fee keep you from applying. Applicants have the opportunity to indicate their need for a scholarship or sliding scale fees on the application.

An online application is required to participate in the program. Once you apply, we will follow up with you with any questions we have and we’ll let you know if you are accepted into the program by two weeks before the program start date.

We also encourage you to attend a free Get Started Workshop in conjunction with your application. The workshop is a one-day, three-hour, online training that will give you a preview of the full ten-week program. Our next Get Started Workshop is Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 5:30pm.Sign Up Now!


Apply Now

The Blackstone Business Launch powered by CO.STARTERS begins Wednesday, April 28, 2021. This cohort will meet weekly for ten weeks on Wednesday evenings, 5:30pm-8:30pm. The training will either be held online or in person – applicants have the opportunity to indicate their preference on the application.

Participants must have a desire to open or grow a business with a brick-and-mortar location in Downtown Blackstone. There are 15 full scholarships available.

Apply Now 

The preferred application deadline is Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Presented by Downtown Blackstone Inc.

The Blackstone Business Launch is made possible by a grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The CO.STARTERS program is presented by the Longwood SBDC in partnership with the SOVA Innovation Hub and GO Virginia Region 3.