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Business Bootcamp Seeking Entrepreneurs With Great Ideas

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Getting a great idea or service to market can be challenging, even for those with business savvy. 
 
That's why 1Berkshire and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts are building on last year's Business Bootcamp to create a free program aimed at "fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout the Berkshires."
 
"One of the challenges we face here in Berkshire County is we have more entrepreneurs than what we think we do and they need support," said David Curtis, economic development specialist with 1Berkshire. "They don't know that the help is there simply for the asking."
 
Business Bootcamp, part of the Berkshier Starts program, accepted 13 entrepreneurs last year. The program was designed to guide participants through the elements necessary to start up and evolve a successful business in the Berkshires — from developing a business plan to pitching investors. 
 
"We had some great people go through we're still working with two or three of them," Curtis said, including three MCLA students who presented their deep-sea fishing gear finder at the college's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge. "It was worth running it again this year."
 
This year, the program hopes to double that number and is getting the word out early. The deadline to apply is Nov. 15 and the workshops don't start until next March, but Curtis said the goal is to raise awareness that there are resources available. 
 
Applications will be screened for viability to get the best available candidates and concepts, but the deadline may be pushed back to ensure a good field of candidates. The program is open to students, entrepreneurs, and early-stage business owners.
 
"We're very excited to partner again with MCLA to offer this important educational resource for entrepreneurs,"  Jonathan Butler, president and CEO of 1Berkshire, said in a statement. "As the scope and breadth of small business ownership continues to evolve in the Berkshires, programs like these are critical to supporting the changing needs of those leading those businesses."
 
The 12 workshops planned to run between March and April next spring include canvas business plan modeling, legal structure and intellectual property, funding, marketing and pitching investors, with extra focus in business accounting and design thinking. Each three-hour workshop will be presented by MCLA faculty and by business mentors in the Berkshire Starts program. 
 
"The idea is to expose them to all the different aspects that they need," Curtis said. "They come to the table with a pretty good skill set but it's not perfect and we try to fill in the gaps." 
 
Applications and more information can be found at 1berkshire.com/business-bootcamp/

Tags: 1Berkshire,   business development,   entrepreneurs,   startup,   workshops,   

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Aug. 23-29

This weekend is your last chance to see the 2019 Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing. Performances are held on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 8 p.m. on the First Street Common. Featuring the witty on-again, off-again lovers Beatrice and Benedick, Much Ado is the story of the trials of love in a society dominated by patriarchal traditions. Beatrice's cousin Hero and the soldier Claudio meet and fall in love, but when a man spreads nasty rumors about her, Hero's voice is silenced and their relationship torn apart. Loyalties are tested as the community responds, including a ragtag group of officers who just might save the day. FREE, donations suggested.
  MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE
 
 
The Shaker Barn Music Series presents singer-songwriter Nellie McKay. The deep, and deeply funny, McKay has paid tribute to the disparate likes of Doris Day, transgender jazz pianist Billy Tipton, environmentalist Rachel Carson and comedian Joan Rivers. Wallace Field opens. 7:30 p.m.
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FRI Blue Light Trio at Rainbow | FRI Karaoke Night at Friends | FRI Dan Gingras at Proprietor's Lodge | FRI Todd McLeod at Rusty Anchor | FRI Mr. Doubtfire at Mission | FRI-SAT Wine, Cheese & Trees at Bousquet | SAT Latin Night at The A | SAT Pete Boyd at Proprietor's Lodge | SAT The Damaged & More at Crossroads | SAT Acoustic Gravel & Jessica Wilson at Rusty Anchor | SUN-MON Karen Mason at Barrington Stage | MON Jazz Night at Mission | TUE Entrepreneurial Meet-up at Thistle & Mirth | WED Melissa Massery at Methuselah | WED Gruppo Mondo at Rainbow | THU The Picky B's at Mission | THU Jessica Wilson at Proprietor's Lodge
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Children ages 6 and older are invited to learn to paint a sparkly unicorn on a 16x20 canvas at Berkshire Paint & Sip. All painting materials, instruction, light snacks and non-alcoholic drinks are included in the $25 fee. 1-3 p.m. at 305 North Street.
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FRI FREE Fun Friday at Berkshire Museum FRI WeeMuse: Adventures at Berkshire Museum FRI Designing with da Vinci at Berkshire Museum FRI-THU Parenting Classes & Play Groups at 18 Degrees (formerly Berkshire Children & Families) SAT Chow Time at Berkshire Museum SAT Kitchen Ka-Boom! at Berkshire Museum SAT Back to School Event at Berkshire Dream Center SAT Designing with da Vinci at Berkshire Museum SAT Robbins Zust Marionette Show at Dottie's SAT da Vinci After Hours at Berkshire Museum SUN Discovery Tank Program at Berkshire Museum | MON Exploring Our World at Berkshire Museum TUE WeeMuse: Littlest Learners at Berkshire Museum TUE Designing with da Vinci at Berkshire Museum WED Gallery Scavenger Hunts at Berkshire Museum THU Farm Friends at Hancock Shaker Village | THU Exploring Our World at Berkshire Museum THU Designing with da Vinci at Berkshire Museum 
  WELLNESS
SUN Restorative Yoga w/CBD Massage at Radiance
 
Indulge in the ultimate self-care experience, combining restorative yoga with CBD massage, at Radiance Yoga. Shannon will lead you through comfortable yoga postures and licensed massage therapists will guide you deeper into relaxation with massage using Vermont Farmacy's Herbal CBD Salve. 6 p.m.
Plus...
FRI-THU Various Classes at Berkshire Running Center | FRI-THU Various Classes at Berkshire Family YMCA | FRI-THU Various Classes at Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness FRI-THU Various Classes at Radiance Yoga | FRI-THU Various Classes at Berkshire Salsa FRI-THU Various Classes at Pilates Fit | SAT Sunrise Yoga on the Deck at Rusty Anchor | SUN Goat Yoga at Hancock Shaker Village SUN Yoga Class at Tyler Street Lab MON Zumba Class at Tyler Street Lab THU Outdoor Yoga at Onota Lake
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SAT+ George Gershwin Alone at The Colonial
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