February 23, 2023 - 2:10 pm

20Fathoms’ new Business Essentials course will help launch tech-based businesses

By 20Fathoms

The Traverse City-based tech startup incubator 20Fathoms is pleased to announce that application is open for the all new Business Essentials course developed in partnership with Northwestern Michigan College. Designed especially for tech-based businesses, participants will attend weekly virtual classes, meet experts and mentors, access valuable resources, learn alongside peers, and attend optional in-person networking events. The application deadline is March 17.

“This course is for people who have a great idea for a business and aren’t quite sure how to get started,” said Keri Amlotte, Director of Marketing at 20Fathoms. “They’ll learn how to validate that idea and then how to lay the foundation on which to build a successful business.”

The spring course runs April 12 – June 7. Virtual classes will be held most Wednesdays during that period from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Throughout the course, there will also be opportunities for in-person networking events which are optional, although participants are strongly encouraged to attend.

The course is open to individuals in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau counties. It is specifically for individuals who have never started a business before, as well as experienced entrepreneurs who want to review business planning basics. The course is structured for tech-based businesses; however, all aspiring entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply and will be considered.

For spring 2023, the cost of the course is $299. A $450 value, this discounted rate is made possible through support from 20Fathoms and Hagerty. Scholarships are available for those typically underrepresented in tech entrepreneurship including women, Native Americans, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. Additional needs-based support may be available for those with tech-based business ideas who face financial and other barriers to attending this course such as computer or internet access, childcare, and transportation. 

“NMC’s Extended Educational Services has, for over 30 years, provided professional development classes to small businesses and startups across the region,” said Elizabeth Sonnabend, Program Manager & Adjunct Faculty for Northwestern Michigan College Extended Educational Services. “Our focus has been on offering practical skills training and quick, efficient classes that fit the busy schedule of entrepreneurs. We’re excited to be working with 20Fathoms on this new course.”

The Business Essentials course is one of the many new resources that 20Fathoms is introducing this spring under their new The Launch at 20Fathoms program. Coming soon are an online Startup + Tech Hub that compiles the region’s resources for entrepreneurs and tech professionals, as well as a new access to capital guide and mentorship guide. 20Fathoms also runs a coworking space and hosts ongoing lunch-and-learns and networking events for entrepreneurs.

“If you have a business idea – especially if it’s for a tech startup – come to 20Fathoms,” said Eric Roberts, Executive Director of 20Fathoms. “We have the expertise, resources, and connections to help remove barriers that entrepreneurs routinely face. We’re here to help you launch your business.”