CO.STARTERS is a nine-week cohort based program that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships and tools needed to turn ideas into action and turn a passion into a sustainable and thriving endeavour. This program is based on the Business Model Canvas incorporating Lean Start-Up methodology which has been used by highly successful entrepreneurs and corporations around the world, such as Microsoft, Intel, Xerox, NASA and 3M. CO.STARTERS utilises and develops locally based facilitators and mentors, while bringing in expert guest speakers for inspiration and guidance.

The CO.STARTERS program was developed in Chattanooga, TN, USA by Enoch Elwell, a co-founder of The Company Lab business/enterprise hub, which has played a key role in the revitalisation of Chattanooga. It was developed as a means to empower community leaders in assisting aspiring entrepreneurs, start-up’s and existing small business owners/managers in developing their businesses. The CO.STARTERS was  brought to New Zealand in 2015 by Chorus as part of their gigatown competition, it is now located in 7 locations around New Zealand including Buller, Auckland, Dunedin, Wanaka, Nelson, Porirua and Gisborne.  You can check out their website 

The CO.STARTERS programme was delivered in the Buller region over 2016 with over 36 participants graduating from the programme. This resulted in 11 new businesses in the district (excluding 60% of pre-established business participants), an estimated 16 new FTE’s and participant businesses attracting over $150,000 in start-up funding.

WestREAP in conjunction with Development West Coast rolled out CO.STARTERS in Hokitika in October 2017.

We are planning to run out the next cohort in Greymouth in March 2018 so watch this space.

If you have any questions regarding the programme or you would like to register for Westland or Greymouth in 2018 you can email the CO.Starters Coordinator at or phone WestREAP on 0800 927 327

Co.Starters Coordinator
Kate Duthie

What courses would you like to see on offer?
Please let us know by completing our form