accelerate columbus banner

Overview In 2019, the City of Columbus launched Accelerate Columbus. Now, going into its third year, the City of Columbus is excited to provide a new set of small business training programs from ten entrepreneurial support organizations.

Please note, to be eligible for this program, your business must be located in the City of Columbus. In the event that you have not yet started your business or if your business is a home-based business, your residential address must be located in the City of Columbus.

After reviewing all of the programs being provided this year, please complete this application.

Bridging Our Communities Together for Success
Childcare Owner Education Program

The Childcare Owner Education Program will support existing small, minority, and woman-owned Traditional "Main Street" Childcare Centers and "Mom and Pop" Childcare Providers. They will gain the knowledge necessary to run a compliant childcare center that will pass ODJFS Childcare Licensing Visit requirements; budget for food costs for students, and put money back in their pockets to purchase other items needed for the center; receive one- on-one visits to their sites to assist with any tasks that are needed to stay in compliance with ODJFS, the fire department, health department, and any accreditations they hold or are seeking. The Childcare Owner Education Program will also be providing training for the childcare owners' current and future staff which will prepare them for the classroom {CDA Cohort Program).

This will not only give students the training needed for accreditations but will also qualify the Childcare Centers for additional funding from the state for achieving Step-Up-To-Quality Stars, which are a requirement from ODJFS to receive PFCC funding.

Child Development Associate (CDA) Program

The CDA Program will support existing small, minority, and woman-owned Traditional "Main Street" Childcare Centers and "Mom and Pop" Childcare Providers by providing a pool of CDA Trained and Certified Teaching Staff available to recruit, onboard, and retain in a highly competitive and high turnover industry. The program participants will attend classes in the evening from 6 to 8 pm via Zoom. At the end of the course, the program participants will have obtained 120 hours of child development credentials to meet the requirements needed to obtain their Child Development Associate (CDA) Certification and begin or continue working in their chosen field and possibly aspire to become Childcare Center Owners as well. This program is beneficial to Childcare Centers because they receive additional funding when their staff have their CDA credentials; however, it is not typically free to students and many small, minority, and women-owned businesses do not have the budget to provide this employee benefit for their teachers.


Buckeye Innovation
Website Acceleration Workshop Series

There are three cohorts of this program: Winter (February), and Spring (April), and Fall (September). 

Having and maintaining an effective web presence is vital for businesses to reach and engage prospective clients. Buckeye Innovation is looking for entrepreneurs and small businesses seeking to establish or improve their existing web presence.  

Our Website Acceleration Workshop Series will guide participants through the process of refining their existing website or building of a new site. Cohorts will meet for a total of 4-6 workshops, held weekly to bi-weekly in a hybrid format (in-person or virtually). Upon graduation, participants will walk away with a functional, compelling website and the knowledge to make future content additions to grow their business. For this workshop series, no previous website development experience is required. However, this is an interactive experience that will require participants to be hands-on in creating their websites with the guidance of an instructor. Interested participants should have a technical skill level that includes the ability to navigate a laptop or computer device comfortably, including ability to navigate an internet browser and email.  

Our vision is that all businesses and organizations have equitable access to the best web and mobile technology to grow their impact on the community. To support our vision, we welcome aspiring new or established entrepreneurs and small businesses to join us; Especially, if they struggle with access to great technology, design, and content strategy that larger businesses often take for granted. 


Columbus Chamber of Commerce
Program 1 - Accelerate Your Business

There are two different cohorts of this program: Spring (March 19-May 21) and Fall (September 20-November 5).

Are you a solopreneur ready to grow and set your business up for success? Accelerate Columbus is a program of The City of Columbus and The Columbus Chamber of Commerce targeting and catering to minority-owned, small businesses and solopreneurs beginning their business journey. Utilizing the Chamber's network of hundreds of subject matter experts that specialize in all aspects of entrepreneurship and small business, trainings will explore topics in the areas of: Community Resources, Business Management and Operations, Marketing and Branding, MBE Certification, Networking, Banking, etc.). This twelve-week course will help det new businesses on the path to grow and thrive. While participating as a member of the cohort, business participants will receive training, one-on-one consultative services with the Columbus Chamber staff, advocacy, and entrepreneur assistance and support.

Program 2 - Accelerate 2.0

There are two different cohorts of this program: Spring (March 20-May 22) and Fall (September 11-November 6).

Are you an entrepreneur looking to scale and grow your business to meet the growing needs of the Columbus Region? Accelerate 2.0 is a program of The City of Columbus and The Columbus Chamber of Commerce targeting minority-owned, small businesses on the path to growth and expansion. Utilizing the Chamber's network of hundreds of subject matter experts that specialize in all aspects of entrepreneurship and small business, trainings will explore topics in the areas of: Community Resources, Business Management and Operations, Securing Funding, Building Business and Strategy, MBE certification, etc.). This twelve-week course will help det new businesses on the path to grow and thrive. While participating as a member of the cohort, business participants will receive training, one-on-one consultative services with the Columbus Chamber staff, advocacy, and entrepreneur assistance and support.

Columbus Empowerment Corporation
Blue-print Reading and Estimating
These 6 in-person sessions are designed to equip you with the fundamental skills necessary for reading blueprints and estimating various aspects of commercial construction projects. This workshop (for those within any of the following trades: framing, drywall, painting, trim, acoustical ceilings, or doors) will provide invaluable knowledge to enhance your expertise. You will also meet with industry experts and potential commercial customers.

Scalable Growth for Food Related Businesses
This 3-month cohort includes sessions that are a combination of in-person group, virtual and one-on-one advisement. Meet with industry experts, review your legal structure, your insurance need and marketing, track your customer journey to increase the result of a sale, receive customer feedback through a private tasting.

Scalable Growth for Creatives/Artist
This 3-month cohort includes sessions that are a combination of in-person group, virtual and one-on-one advisement. Meet with industry experts, review your legal structure, your insurance needs, and marketing. You will also track your customer journey to increase the result of a sale and receive customer feedback through a private showing.

Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI)
Consumer Packaged Goods Accelerator

There are three cohorts of this program: Winter (February), Early Summer (May/June), Fall (September)
ECDI’s Consumer Packaged Goods Accelerator runs 9 weeks with 6-8 businesses per cohort. The participating businesses attend in-person classes once per week in which they will engage in a variety of activities, individual and group work, intended to expand their knowledge and expertise in operating and scaling their business. Each week the facilitator, a subject matter expert, delivers curriculum to the group, facilitate the activities, and explain the homework to be done prior to the next weeks class. Businesses in this track produce a variety of packaged food and beverage products intended to be sold in retail grocers or wholesaled to various distribution channels. At the end of the 9 weeks, participating businesses have the opportunity to pitch their product to a retailer such as The Kroger Company for potential placement as well as additional pitch opportunities.

FIRST SIP
Share Your Purpose (SYP) Program
Join us on a journey with the SYP Program at First Sip Studios, where we craft a six-month personalized learning experience just for your small business. Imagine having a mentor who understands the specifics of your business and designs every one of your two monthly one-on-one hour-long classes with your business's unique needs in mind. Picture this: In one session, you could be diving into the world of photography, capturing the essence of your brand, and in the next, you might be exploring the storytelling power of video editing—skills directly applicable to your next product launch or marketing campaign.

We understand that your brand's image is important, so we guide you through the creative details of Canva design and help you articulate your visual branding. Planning your marketing becomes a breeze with our content calendar strategies, tailored to keep you ahead of the game. Social media becomes part of your toolkit, with unique lessons on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and more—wherever your audience lives, we help you speak their language.

But it's not all creativity; we ground you in the critical analytics that demystify your campaigns' performance, sharpen your email marketing skills to hit those sales targets, and polish your prospecting techniques to convert leads into loyal customers. With First Sip Studios, you'll learn and apply content distribution strategies and public relations that keep the conversation about your business going.

Each class is a piece of your unique roadmap, crafted to transform your business challenges into growth opportunities. And we don't stop at theory—First Sip Studios provides you with professional video and photo assets to make your business shine. At the end of the SYP Program, you won't just understand the digital world better; you'll have hands-on experience and tailored content to prove it. Ready to take that next giant leap? Join the SYP Program and turn your business aspirations into tangible success. Sign up now, and let’s nurture your brand into its next chapter together.


Our Lady of Guadalupe Center, Catholic Social Services
Mercadito Raices
Our Lady of Guadalupe Center at Catholic Social Services offers the Mercadito Raices program to help Hispanic entrepreneurs launch their businesses.  Classes are held at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Center and are taught predominantly in Spanish.  Mercadito Raices begins with a required introductory class “How to Start Your Business,” offered on January 23, 2024 and February 20, 2024. The program will then run from March until August 2024. The program will include 11 classes, two hours in length which are supported by dedicated business coaches.

The sessions will cover marketing, pricing, budgeting, financial education resources, tax responsibilities, business license requirements, etc.  Our Lady of Guadalupe will collaborate and utilize resources from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).  Upon completion and attendance of this program, participants will be able to launch their businesses, and some Food and product businesses may participate in the Latino Festival taking place in August 2024

El Centro Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Servicios Sociales Católicos ofrecerá el programa Mercadito Raíces para ayudar a los empresarios hispanos a lanzar sus negocios. Las clases se llevarán a cabo en el Centro Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe y se enseñarán predominantemente en español. Mercadito Raíces comenzará con una clase introductoria obligatoria “Cómo iniciar su negocio”, que se ofrecerá el 23 de enero de 2024 y el 20 de febrero de 2024. Luego, el programa completo se extenderá desde marzo hasta agosto de 2024. El programa incluirá 11 clases, de dos horas de duración. Estas clases contarán con el apoyo dedicado de entrenadores de negocios. 
 
Las sesiones cubrirán mercadeo, precios, presupuestos, recursos de educación financiera, responsabilidades fiscales, requisitos de licencias comerciales, etc. Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe colaborará y utilizará recursos del Centro de Desarrollo de Pequeñas Empresas (SBDC). Al finalizar y asistir a este programa, los participantes podrán lanzar sus negocios, y algunas empresas de alimentos y productos podrán participar en el Festival Latino que se llevará a cabo en agosto de 2024.

Aplicación: https://es.surveymonkey.com/r/AccelerateColumbus2024Espanol


Video Story Studio
Messaging for Higher Profits
There are two cohorts of this program: Spring and Fall.
This program focuses on message development, content creation, and pricing power to fuel the sales and marketing engine. Video Story Studio is a video marketing firm that focuses on messaging strategy and evergreen video content. We’ve partnered with Boost Pricing, a pricing training & consulting firm, to develop a program to help small businesses communicate their value and get paid what they're worth. Participants will walk away with branded video assets, clearer brand messaging, and the confidence to raise their pricing.
Click here to learn more: https://videostorystudio.com/brandsway/ 


Women’s Small Business Accelerator (WSBA)
Inspired Entrepreneur
There are two cohorts of this program: Spring (starts in March) and Fall (starts in August).
The Inspired Entrepreneur is for you if you have an idea ready to launch through launched but do not feel like you know what you are doing. The program is designed to think through your business concept, build a business plan, and gain control over your small business. The course provides a group atmosphere with one-on-one mentoring through 8 classes taught over 4 months with 5 individual mentoring sessions. The combination ensures your business concept is thought through, monetized, and ready for success. An attendance commitment and effort to focus on developing the business is required.

Determined Entrepreneur
There are two cohorts of this program: Spring (starts in March) and Fall (starts in August).
The Determined Entrepreneur is for you if you are in business at least two years and generating revenue (around $100,000) but do not feel in control of your business or your growth. You know your idea is a good one but desire to grow to the next level in revenue. Over the course of 4-months you will attend 8 classroom and 5 mentoring sessions designed to think through your business assumptions and develop a plan of action for revenue growth and job creation. Feeling overwhelmed or like an imposter? This program sets goals, develops plans of action, and holds you accountable for development and implementation for ensured growth and success. If you are ready to focus, make your business development a priority, and attend class and mentoring sessions we will help you grow your business.

Xposeyour
Visionary Leader 360° Business Accelerator Program
There are three cohorts of this program: March 5, 2024 to May 14, 2024; May 21, 2024 to July 30, 2024; and August 13, 2024 to October 22, 2024.
Accelerate your leadership and business success with the Visionary Leader 360° Business Accelerator in Columbus. Tailored for entrepreneurs with a BIG vision and at least two years in business, this program equips you with enhanced leadership skills, systems, team dynamics, and influential communication abilities. In three months, we'll guide you in elevating your leadership to amplify your team's performance and your business's growth. Covering topics such as strategy, public speaking, marketing, project management, change readiness, and technology implementation, our comprehensive training, one-on-one coaching, and expert-led workshops are designed for immediate, CEO-level impact. Plus, every participant receives a professional headshot, symbolizing their transformation into a business leader ready to realize their BIG vision. All group sessions are in person.