Have A Food Business Idea But Don't Know Where To Start?


CO.STARTERS is a program designed to provide you with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn your idea into action and your passion into a sustainable and thriving business.

CO.STARTERS @ Flint Food Works

The CO.STARTERS for FOOD.Starters program at the Flint Food Works is seeking candidates to join our latest cohort. We are specifically looking for entrepreneurs that are interested in further developing their business idea for a food related consumer packaged good and/or value added food product. Admissions will be limited. We may have room for entrepreneurs with a restaurant or food truck concept, but first consideration will be given to food based entrepreneurs with a specific consumer packaged good in mind.


  • Who Should Apply? We are specifically looking for entrepreneurs that are interested in creating a food product. Priority will be given to businesses that are seeking to explore their business plan for devloping consumer packaged goods and value added food products here in our area.

  • Classes will be held from 5-7 pm at the Flint Farmers' Market on Wednesdays from October 26th through December 14th (7 sessions).

  • You must be able to commit to ALL of the sessions to qualify.

  • Cost is $200 per person/business. This pays for the CO.STARTERS binder and class materials.

Session By Session Details

Wednesday, 10/26- Session 1

Knowing Yourself

  • Introduction, Assumptions, Working Styles, Team Building, Obstacles

Wednesday, 11/2- Session 2

Knowing Your Customer & Finding The Right Solution

  • Customer, Problem, Alternatives, Idea Testing + Solution, Benefit, Advantage, Starting Small, Brand Identity

Wednesday, 11/9- Session 3

Getting The Relationship Right

  • Marketing & Message, Getting - Keeping & Growing Customers

Wednesday, 11/16- Session 4

Building Blocks & Structures and Systems

  • Distribution, Revenue, Typical Offering, Price + Leagal & Accountiung Considerations

Wednesday, 11/23- Session 5

Discovering The Bottom Line

  • Startup & Ongoing Needs, Fixed & Variable Costs, Break-Even Point

Wednesday, 12/7- Session 6

Financial Modeling & Planning For Growth

  • Break-Even Point, Sales Projections, Cash Flow, Raising Capital + Growth Plans, Goal Setting, Celebration Prep

Wednesday, 12/14- Session 7

Celebration Night

  • Deliver your pitch!


This program will focus on helping food business entrepreneurs start, shape and/or grow their food based businesses during our first CO.STARTERS @ Flint Food Works For FOOD.Starters

Participants will fine tune their businesses and business ideas in a hands-on, approachable way. Utilizing the business model canvas, participants will test their ideas, tweak next steps through real-time customer feedback, learn valuable management and marketing skills, and receive constructive feedback from advisers, peers and local business owners. This specialized curriculum will also address essential food-biz topics, including food branding, navigating local and state food regulations and financial planning.

See How CO.STARTERS Has Helped Other Entrepreneurs

Drawing from the experience of successful entrepreneurs and start-up veterans from around the globe, CO.STARTERS Core walks creative small-business owners through lean, effective business modeling methods in a simple and intuitive way, and with the help of a supportive community. Rather than treating a start-up like a large corporation and writing a detailed business plan, CO.STARTERS participants are encouraged to build and test small models first. In the process, participants receive real-time customer feedback, update their models to meet customer needs and avoid creating businesses based on incorrect assumptions.