Start-Ups and Small Businesses Thrive in The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN) | COMIDAMore than 400 founders and senior executives have participated in The Entrepreneurs Network – an innovative program powered by COMIDA. Surveys of participants indicate that TEN has improved their revenue, strengthened their operations, and helped them receive critical funding. The participating companies represent both tech start-ups and small businesses looking to scale through new products and markets. Members are recruited through a selective application process; the 26th class runs Spring 2019.

Boot Camps are at the core of the program involving significant hands-on interaction with national and regional business experts and funding sources. Among the many topics covered are customer discovery and product/market fit, integrating a metric-driven sales and marketing plan, financial modeling, and securing traditional financing and equity investments.

TEN Business Coaches are active investors and/or experts in areas like finance, operations, marketing, sales, and human resources; they work one-on-one and in teams to support TEN entrepreneurs in developing an effective business strategy for today’s competitive environment. The Boot Camps culminate with investor presentations before a panel of judges drawn from leaders in investing and business.

“Monroe County’s commitment to TEN is changing the economic landscape of our area,” says Jeff Adair, Executive Director of COMIDA. “Strengthening our small business and tech sector means more opportunities for everyone. That strength comes from making connections and sharing knowledge and experience.”

Two examples of TEN success stories are Sydor Technologies, a global leader in the manufacturing of high-speed diagnostic imaging solutions and ballistic test systems. Read Sydor Technologies’ Story and Ecolectro Inc., a developer of low-cost, high-performance polymers for electrochemical applications. Read Ecolectro’s Story

A great example of a scaleable small business who has grown significantly after participating in TEN is Sweet & Cute Sweets, a company that sells sweet coffee syrup made with cold brew coffee from fresh, locally roasted beans and organic cane sugar. Read Sweet & Cute’s Story

TEN launched its first Women Business Accelerator aimed specifically at bolstering women founders and business owners in 2018. Monroe County and COMIDA also sponsored the Rochester Women Investors Forum organized by TEN and Chloe Capital. TEN alumni have formed a strong network within the community, serving as case studies during boot camps and offering informal support to each other to help their companies grow. In 2019, TEN will be introducing new initiatives that offer training, educating and networking to connect entrepreneurs, established firms, academic institutions and investment resources to advance the regional economy.

For more information on small business programs from COMIDA, visit the Startup & Small Business Programs page.