2017 08 04 Co.Starters Logo

Would you like to help:

Grow and Develop Businesses in your Community?

Empower Individuals with the tools and skills required to thrive and succeed?

Development West Coast with support from WestREAP, BullerREAP and EPIC Westport would like to assist people in the West Coast region to explore and develop business opportunities. To aid in this we are expanding the highly regarded CO.STARTERS business start-up and development programme across the region.


CO.STARTERS is a nine-week cohort based program that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships and tools needed to turn ideas into action and turn a passion into a sustainable and thriving endeavour. This program is based on the Business Model Canvas incorporating Lean Start-Up methodology which has been used by highly successful entrepreneurs and corporations around the world, such as Microsoft, Intel, Xerox, NASA and 3M. CO.STARTERS utilises and develops locally based facilitators and mentors, while bringing in expert guest speakers for inspiration and guidance.

The CO.STARTERS program was developed in Chattanooga, TN, USA by Enoch Elwell, a co-founder of The Company Lab business/enterprise hub, which has played a key role in the revitalisation of Chattanooga. It was developed as a means to empower community leaders in assisting aspiring entrepreneurs, start-up’s and existing small business owners/managers in developing their businesses. The CO.STARTERS was brought to New Zealand in 2015 by Chorus as part of their gigatown competition, it is now located in 7 locations around New Zealand including Buller, Auckland, Dunedin, Wanaka, Nelson, Porirua and Gisborne.

The CO.STARTERS programme was delivered in the Buller region over 2016 with over 36 participants graduating from the programme. This resulted in 11 new businesses in the district (excluding 60% of pre-established business participants), an estimated 16 new FTE’s and participant businesses attracting over $150,000 in start-up funding.

Get Involved:

We are looking for people throughout the West Coast region that would be interested in being involved in the CO.STARTERS programme. This includes both potential participants and experienced business people keen to be involved and trained as facilitators, mentors and guest speakers.

If you want to develop an idea, refine your business or get involved in supporting the CO.STARTERS programme, contact: Aaron Rees, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Meet some West Coast Co.Starters graduates:

A wild peace   linc design 2 kate 2  West Coast Rewards
 A Wild Peace Wellness Centre  Nuzzle Baby (Linc Design NZ)   Kate Buckley Artist West Coast Rewards