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Business in a fiercely competitive world demands focusing on an area where battles can be won. The right strategy and people makes winning those battles possible. Ann Arbor SPARK has developed many educational programs which are geared to helping entrepreneurs launch and grow their business. Entrepreneurs  Boot Camp, now in its fifteenth session is an example of a program to help launch companies by connecting them with mentors and creating a safe environment for them to refine their strategy and messaging. A complement to Boot Camp is an online course, Cantillon, which helps entrepreneurs to work through the complex issues facing new and growing businesses and get their strategy set. Challenges such as what does it take to be successful? How do I communicate my story succinctly so that partners, investors and customers will understand and want to know more? What does it take to really get my product into the market place and selling well? How much capital will this take and where is it going to come from? These questions are answered in the 10 units of Cantillon. This self paced web delivered course is available to entrepreneurs 24/7 and offers a very complete 30 hours of instruction and case examples. SPARK will match a mentor appropriate to your stage who will review your work and answer specific questions. Leveraging the best content on a particular topic, the course includes extensive references to additional books and websites. The course has helped more than 500 entrepreneurs over the past 2 years including the past winners of the GLEQ and ACE pitch competition.

By Kurt Riegger