The business planning course is SpringBoard’s flagship program. The curriculum, licensed by Mountain Biz Works of Asheville, NC, is designed to help creatives and small-business owners become more sustainable and durable in their economic endeavors.
In March of 2008, the first SpringBoard class launched with 20 participants, among them potters, furniture makers, and hammered dulcimer players.
After only a few short weeks, word spread about the environment created in the course: an unusual, inter-disciplinary cohort was developing, and it wasn’t just for creatives. Plumbers and restaurant owners were also benefiting from the intersection of business and creativity.
Through word of mouth, enough interest was generated to warrant another round of the business planning course, and so on and so forth. The class has been offered continually since then. To date, over 250 individuals have graduated from the course, and the number of SpringBoard grads doing business and creating new ventures in Chattanooga continues to grow.
The class lasts eight weeks, convening one evening a week for three hours. Facilitators have included MBAs and serial entrepreneurs, and guest speakers are pulled from leading marketing, design, web development, content-sourcing, accounting, and law firms in Chattanooga. Throughout the eight weeks, students build a comprehensive business plan, learn valuable management and marketing skills, and receive constructive feedback from advisor, peers, even former grads.
The course fee ranges from $100 to $500 on a sliding scale and includes materials. For those unable to cover cost of tuition, The Company Lab has accepted in-kind services and bartering to cover expenses.

To register, click here.