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CO.STARTERS at the Hill is a 9-week program that equips entrepreneurs of all kinds with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn ideas into action. There are only three prerequisites to joining the program:

(1) Having an idea
(2) Being willing to question, shape and fine-tune that idea
(3) Being willing to talk about the idea with others

Over the nine-weeks, groups of 10-15 entrepreneurs meet together one evening a week for three hours, led by a facilitator. CO.STARTERS certified facilitators are experienced business owners from the community who guide participants through the program by asking the right questions, drawing on the knowledge in the room, and using available resources and connections in the community to point participants in the right direction. In addition to exploring different topics each week, guest speakers are also brought in weekly to enrich the conversation and help participants learn from the experience of others in the community.

Click here to learn more about the curriculum structure.

Working together, participants develop and fine-tune their ideas, critically examining every piece and determining next steps through real-time feedback, using a simplified version of the Business Model Canvas. Participants leave the program with a deeper understanding of how to create a sustainable business, articulate their models, and repeat the process.

Click here to learn what makes this program different.

As an organization dedicated to the community the Hill has priced this program to be financially reasonable to make it accessible for all entrepreneurs in our community.  The cost of the program is  $500 that includes materials, snacks and a one year membership to the James J. Hill Center upon completion of the program. The Hill recognizes there are racial and economic barriers and as a nonprofit serving all members of our community we offer scholarship to close the gap. Individuals who identify as or work in communities serving people of color, low income or the downtown Saint Paul area are encouraged to apply.


To be notified when 2019 applications open, email christopher@jjhill.org.



This program is supported in part by: 


Patrons with accessibility needs please access our ground floor elevator entrance via Kellogg Ave at the back of the building. Please ring the doorbell on the right hand side of door and a Hill staff member will assist you. If you have questions or concerns please call 651.265.5500. We look forward to having you visit.

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