Starting and Growing a New Business - NEO Fund

Several times a year, the NEO Fund offers a formal classroom program called Starting and Growing a New Business.

Who Should Attend?

  • People thinking about starting a new business.
  • Business owners who want to grow their business.
  • Non Profit organizations that want to grow.

What Is Covered in the Program?

Thinking Like an Entrepreneur
  • What is the difference between a business owner and an entrepreneur?
  • How do you evaluate an idea to determine if it is worth pursuing?
  • Identifying a product that people want
  • Selecting your target market
  • Promoting your product/service
  • Pricing strategies
  • Choosing a distribution channel
  • Providing leadership - developing a mission, vision, culture
  • Hiring and retaining good employees
  • Understanding financial statements
  • Developing a forecast
  • Determining the best legal structure for your company
NEO Fund Textbook

What Should You Expect to Get out of the Program?

  • Coaching from the instructor on developing your business plan.
  • Feedback from peers on ideas and approaches you are considering.
  • Feedback from lenders who will listen to your plan and offer suggestions.
  • Developing a network of peers and coaches to support your efforts going forward.
  • Improved skills to manage your business.
  • A formal business plan that you can use to manage your business and potentially use to support a funding request.

Who Is the Instructor?

Larry Polena
Larry Polena has been the Lead Faculty for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at Tri-C. He has worked with over 650 small businesses during his 8 years with the program. He also taught business courses at Notre Dame College and Lakeland Community College. Prior to teaching, Larry held a variety of positions in business over 34 years. His experience includes leadership roles in Marketing, Customer Service and IT with several companies including Progressive Insurance, Nationwide Insurance and JB Robinson Jewelers.