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Business Essentials Course

A virtual course to help launch your tech-based business

We are no longer accepting applicants for the Spring 2023 cohort. For information on future cohorts, please sign up for our newsletter.

Learn how to launch your business

The Business Essentials Course is a 9-week program to help launch your business. 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.

This course is hosted by 20Fathoms in partnership with Northwestern Michigan College and with support from Hagerty.


The spring 2023 course runs April 12 – June 7.

Virtual classes occur on Wednesdays from 6:30 – 8:30 pm during most weeks.

Throughout the course, there will be several opportunities for in-person networking and/or educational events. These in-person events are optional, although participants are strongly encouraged to attend.

You will learn

Business planning
How to determine the viability of your business idea
Customer discovery
Marketing essentials
Finance and legal basics
Funding options
Local resources for ongoing education and mentorship

Course details

Who should apply

This course is for individuals in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau counties who have never started a business before, as well as experienced entrepreneurs who want to review business planning best practices.

This class is structured for tech-based businesses; however, all aspiring entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply and will be considered.

Time commitment

Approximately four hours per week. This includes two hours of virtual class attendance, as well as two hours of homework each week.


For spring 2023, the Business Essentials 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. Contact us for more information.

Guest Speakers – Spring 2023 Cohort

Dave Colliver

Dave Colliver

President, Colliver Technology Group (CTG)
Broc Edwards

Broc W. Edwards

CEO, Pronoia
Tricia Meyer

Tricia Meyer

Founder & Managing Attorney, Meyer Law; Co-Founder, The Clever Baby

Molly Pyle

Head of Entrepreneurship, Center on Rural Innovation
Ann Ralston

Ann Ralston

President, Ralston Consulting, Inc.
Eric Roberts

Eric Roberts

Executive Director, 20Fathoms

Halle Simpson

Small Business & Executive Coach
Shiloh Slomsky

Shiloh Slomsky, MSA

David Summers

David Summers

Chair, Traverse City SCORE

This course is brought to you by: