Bootcamp for emerging entrepreneurs

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COLUMBIA - It starts with an idea, but what’s the next step to launching a business?

For entrepreneurs in the Columbia area, a bootcamp will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday to answer questions on growing a business.

The MU Small Business and Technology Development Center is hosting this event, which is open to the public.

Sandra Marin, who works as a business development specialist, said there are 38 confirmed participants, but she anticipates more will attend.

“The entrepreneur community is growing,” Marin said. “We have attracted other businesses to Columbia, we have universities that support entrepreneurship, we have institutions that support entrepreneurship and all of them have supported the growing number of entrepreneurs.”

This bootcamp is part of the Bringing Up Business innovation week, which offers a variety of events focusing on mid-Missouri entrepreneurs, investors, inventors and supporters. Marin said the goal of the bootcamp is to give emerging entrepreneurs access to experts in their fields.

She said she has observed a drive and excitement among entrepreneurs in the Columbia area.

“They are so excited about their business idea and because of that, they are able to commit their time, their efforts and go for more opportunities,” she said.  

The bootcamp will feature guest speakers including Bill Turpin, Collin Bunch, Jim Gann, Paul Bateson, Jim Niemann and Bruce Walker. Marin said a successful mentor is crucial for emerging entrepreneurs.

“Our speakers have been entrepreneurs,” she said. “They want to share their experiences and their best practices with the public." 

Guest speaker Collin Bunch said he recommends emerging entrepreneurs surround themselves with a supportive network.

"Focus on building a team and system to solve a problem for a specific niche," he said. "Ideas are mostly worthless, but can get you started."

Bunch said determination is crucial to launching a new business.

"Don't worry about failing or someone taking your idea," he said. "Try things and tap into a network like 1 Million Cups to keep you innovative and energized."

For more information about the bootcamp, visit their Facebook event here.