About Us

Meet CO.STARTERS

Our program equips your city’s small businesses with everything they need to start, grow and succeed.

We equip communities with robust programs to grow local small businesses.

We believe small business is the backbone of communities, and there are good ideas that need to be brought to market. We developed our programs for success so Main Street can flourish again.

We believe that individuals thrive in the context of community. CO.STARTERS is about bringing people together to learn from one another in order to create a strong network of support.

We believe in making concepts and language easy to understand, so business owners can focus on practical next steps and move toward their goals.

Metrics

Energizing
Main Streets

300+

Communities Served

92%

Business Launch Rate

19,400+

Small Businesses Supported

97%

Business 1-Year Survival Rate

Our beginnings

We started on Main Street.

From the beginning, CO.STARTERS pioneered a community-based approach to economic development. Beginning in 2008 in Chattanooga, Tennessee as part of a five-year revitalization effort called CreateHere. We recognized a growing need to provide business support.

We focused on real community needs—jobs, revitalization, and growth opportunities for local talent.

Through our early work with entrepreneurs, we found that simultaneous business and community support led to the ability to transform Main Street

Over the first four years in Chattanooga, more than 1,000 people went through our program. Our local work grew to support not only small businesses, but also high-growth startups.

Today the CO.STARTERS network consists of thousands of success stories around the world.

Profile Image of Buddy Palmer.
“The ability to monetize creative talent is essential to a thriving community…Our partnership with CO.STARTERS is both a job creation strategy and a way to preserve and strengthen Birmingham’s extensive cultural assets.”
- Buddy Palmer, Create Birmingham

Our Team

David Kraus

David Kraus

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Communications Manager
Rebekah Marr

Rebekah Marr

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Director of Operations & Programs
Richard Chadderton

Richard Chadderton

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Director of Australasia Operations
Enoch Elwell

Enoch Elwell

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Director of Vision
Barb Weber

Barb Weber

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Director of Customer Success
Abi Ogle

Abi Ogle

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Onboarding & Training Associate
Jose Alfaro

Jose Alfaro

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Director of Growth
Lauren Blankenship

Lauren Blankenship

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Programs Coach
Sabrina Nagel

Sabrina Nagel

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Community Trainer
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Auckland, NZ
Autumn Sanders

Autumn Sanders

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Community Trainer
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Birmingham, AL
Wes Leake

Wes Leake

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Community Trainer
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Brisbane, Australia
Allison Wolfe

Allison Wolfe

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Community Trainer
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Chattanooga, TN
Stu Minshew

Stu Minshew

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Community Trainer
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Chattanooga, TN
Will Joseph

Will Joseph

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Community Trainer
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Chattanooga, TN
Sammy Ortiz

Sammy Ortiz

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Community Trainer
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Dade City, FL
Kerby Meyers

Kerby Meyers

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Community Trainer
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Denver, CO
Fay Horwitt

Fay Horwitt

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Community Trainer
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Durham, NC
Carlos Sanchez

Carlos Sanchez

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Community Trainer
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Grand Rapids, MI
Adam Robinson

Adam Robinson

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Community Trainer
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Louisville, KY
Elise Spontarelli

Elise Spontarelli

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Community Trainer
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Lynchburg, VA
Vivian Stiassny

Vivian Stiassny

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Community Trainer
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San Bruno, CA
Farid Kheloco

Farid Kheloco

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Community Trainer
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Surf City, NC
Natasha Barnes Delleca

Natasha Barnes Delleca

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Community Trainer
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Westport, New Zealand

Our Trainers

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Jonathan Simpson
New Accounts
jonathan@yugeinc.co
Bella Ridley
Bella Ridley
Key Account Manager
bella@yugeinc.co
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James Godwin
CEO
james@yugeinc.co
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Gizelle M.
Key Account Manager
gizelle@yugeinc.co
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Jan Harper
Sales
jan@yugeinc.co
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Sam Y.
Night Manager
sam@yugeinc.co
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Bruce Forsyth
Designer
bruce@yugeinc.co

Be the city that makes business boom

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