Wyoming County Business Fast Track Spring 2023 Graduates
L-R Front Row: Carrie Johnson, Executive Director, Community Action for Wyoming County; Beth Caton, Sr. Manager Employment & Training, Community Action for Wyoming County; Sierra Browne; Vanessa Davis; Macey Dahl; Daniel Zerbe
L-R Back Row: Jeff Fitch, Fast Track Program Co-Facilitator; Jennifer Tyczka, Fast Track Program Manager; Ben Kibler; Jeremy Dominesey; Tim Brick; Brian Lawrence; Rachel Murray; Mike Cook; Amy Titus; Lindsey Fuller; Ron Fuller; Mike Fitch, Fast Track Program Co-Facilitator Missing from photo- Reagan Fontaine; Carrie Graham
FAST TRACK: participants use classes to develop business concepts and vision
The possibility of starting your own business became a reality on May 30, 2023, for ten graduates, along with their business partners, of the Wyoming County Business Fast Track Program, a business development program for aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs.
The graduates bring a variety of innovative business concepts to Wyoming County including a tap house, produce/regenerative micro-farm, vinyl graphic and design, distinctive ornamental tree care and sales, farm expansion/milk processing, farm cidery with fresh-cut flower fields, gourmet mushroom farm, gas/convenience store with pizzeria, holistic reiki healing for people and animals, and a health and wellness nontoxic bulk retail store including an infrared sauna.
“These graduates spent the past 10 weeks working hard to develop their concepts and visions through each step of the business planning process. Through the class they have built powerful lifetime networks with one another,” said Jennifer Tyczka, program manager. “With our small business resources available they can continue to grow with low-interest financing, grant funding, additional technical assistance, and access to Wyoming County’s business support network.”
In collaboration with the Wyoming County Business Education Council, the Wyoming County Business Center provided Reagan Fontaine, a Pioneer Central High School student, and future business leader, the opportunity to attend the Wyoming County Business Fast Track Program with a full scholarship.
The new graduates completed 10 fast-paced and challenging entrepreneurship classes delivered over a 10-week period that covered a wide variety of topics which included; analyzing the feasibility of the business concept, assessing the marketplace, projecting financials, sales and marketing, operations and management, and business legal matters. They developed their business plans in an interactive group environment where they built a unique network with one another.
The Wyoming County Business Center is an affiliate of the Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac program and offers the customized Wyoming County Business Fast Track Program. This program features engaging online content plus the comprehensive Entrepreneur’s Manual to arm participants with the resources and confidence needed to complete and implement their business plans. Guest speakers are featured throughout the program to share their specific areas of expertise. The classes, which are intentionally kept small in size to personally engage each participant, are facilitated by two local experienced entrepreneurs Jeff Fitch and Mike Fitch.
“I’m very impressed to see the level of qualifications of our microloan-financing applicants who are former Fast Track graduates,” said Jim Pierce, President of the Wyoming County Business Center. “There’s a real benefit to going through an in-depth business planning process and targeted entrepreneurship training before obtaining business financing. This is evident when we look at many of the successful Fast Track graduate businesses who continue to operate years after obtaining a business startup loan from the Wyoming County Business Center,” noted Pierce.
The next cycle of training will begin on March 26, 2024, at the Ag & Business Center in Warsaw. Sessions are held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays over 10 weeks.
The Wyoming County Business Center Board of Directors and the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors support the Wyoming County Business Fast Track Program, recognizing that entrepreneurship and new business startups are a primary source of job growth for Wyoming County. The program is graciously sponsored by Tompkins Community Bank, Complete Payroll, Robert D. Strassel Esq., Five Star Bank, Community Bank N.A., and the workforce development resources available to participants through Community Action for Wyoming County.
To learn more about the Wyoming County Business Fast Track Program or to register for the spring class visit wycoida.org or contact Jennifer Tyczka at the Wyoming County Business Center at (585) 786-3764 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is now open and seats are limited.