The Westchester County Office of Economic Development announced Launch1000, an innovative, fully remote, self-paced program designed to turn concepts and ideas into business plans and startups, will return in 2022. New to the Program this year is the addition of a dual language cohort (English/Spanish) with a minimum of 100 seats available. All Launch1000 programming will be available in both English and Spanish, and bilingual participants will be supported by bilingual coaches and mentors. There will be workshops for just for the dual language cohort, as well as workshops combining the English-only and the bilingual Launchers.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “Following the success of our inaugural Launch1000 program, we were inspired to give more residents the opportunity to get their ideas off the ground and turn them into de-risked businesses and nonprofits. We are excited to add a dual language cohort to the program and make this opportunity accessible to more residents.”
Born out of a global pandemic, Launch1000 offers Westchester County residents the opportunity to gain critical business knowledge, connect with mentors and help their idea gain traction. In 2021, 218 residents completed the program and launched a diverse range of small businesses and nonprofits. The program is led by entrepreneurial expert Pam Hoelzle, who has coached tens of thousands of early-stage entrepreneurs. Launch1000 requires a commitment of 10-hours per week and is designed for individuals who can commit to steadily working on their idea throughout the remainder of 2022. Launchers who successfully complete the program will receive a $1,000 grant to help defray startup costs.
Westchester County Director of Economic Development Bridget Gibbons said: “The Launch1000 program is an investment in growing and diversifying Westchester’s small business community. This program provides education, mentorship and a supportive community to help residents to take their ideas from concept to completion. And, it places a critical focus on de-risking to help participants bring viable and sustainable ventures to market.”
Westchester County Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Deborah Novick said: “In its first year, Launch1000 helped 218 business and nonprofits get off the ground. Sixty-five percent of these Launchers had no prior business experience. This program is proof that all it takes is an idea to start down the path to becoming your own boss and launching a new venture. We look forward to helping our 2022 Launch1000 participants become business owners and nonprofit leaders.”
Whether an individual is in the infancy of exploring an idea, hopes to create an avenue for working from home, aspires to create a business to support and improve their local community, or already has a concrete business concept, Launch1000 provides the tools to test ideas and move forward. As participants move through the phases of the program, they will receive feedback and coaching from experienced entrepreneurs, as well as introductions to relevant organizations and individuals within the Westchester business community. The program is completely online, so it can be completed from the safety of home, and is open to residents anywhere in the County. To ensure that a lack of technology does not prevent anyone from applying to the program, the Westchester County Office of Economic Development will provide laptops to residents who need them.
Applications will open this spring and interested individuals are encouraged to apply early. Potential participants can learn more about Launch1000 by visiting: WestchesterCatalyst.com/Launch1000. Organizations who would like to host an infosession (virtual or in-person) about the program and individuals who are interested in supporting Launch1000 by mentoring participants or otherwise sharing their expertise should contact Deborah Novick at 914-995-2998.
In addition to Launch1000, the Westchester County Office of Economic Development offers a suite of programs and resources to support businesses and entrepreneurs including: Westchester County Biosciences Accelerator, Element 46 Incubator, the RXR Volunteer Program, and other programs.
A full directory of businesses and nonprofits who have graduated from Launch1000 is available at: https://launch1000.orbelay.com/.
NEWS & Photo COURTESY OF The Westchester County Office of Economic Development works to improve the County’s economic well-being and quality of life. This includes a broad range of activities to attract, create and retain jobs, and to foster a resilient, pro-growth and inclusive economy. For information, visit https://westchestercatalyst.com/.