At 6:00pm Cooperative Federal Credit Union closes for the day and opens its community space to a class of aspiring entrepreneurs. Peeking through the windows of the credit union turned classroom on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday night reveals a diverse team sharing ideas, exchanging constructive critiques, and absorbing business insights from expert workshops. Community members from all over the world with a variety of experiences congregate here, bringing together their unique perspectives to starting businesses in Syracuse. These entrepreneurs all share an undeterred dedication and passion to starting their own business.
This 5-week curriculum, the UP Start Seminar, is part of a larger collaborative program called UP Start Syracuse that empowers the next generation of urban entrepreneurs to start businesses and improve the Syracuse community. While the majority of these aspiring entrepreneurs spend their in-classroom training in the UP Start Seminar, those with more advanced education and experience in business enroll in the three-day Small Business Development Center’s Fast Track to Business Start Up class. Upon completion of both training seminars, students will have developed a comprehensive business portfolio to present to a selection committee that decides who moves on to the business incubation stage. Entrepreneurs accepted into the incubation stage will have access to a network of mentors, technical assistance in the areas of business planning, financial planning, marketing, and other specialized fields, capital resources, practicum events to test their products or services, and launch assistance.
UP Start Syracuse is made possible by our many partners including Central New York Community Foundation, Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union, NYS Small Business Development Center, Hopeprint, ProLiteracy, The Tech Garden, Catholic Charities of Onondaga County, St. Joseph’s Hospital, CenterState CEO, SUNY Educational Opportunity Center, The Clean Tech Center, SCORE, and Raymond Von Dran IDEA.