Erie County Public Library offers programs to help start business ideas


Jude Shingle

Erie, PA – Erie County Public Library’s Idea Lab will offer two workshops for individuals interested in starting a business: “Get Started” and “CO.STARTERS Core Cohort.”

“Get Started” is a three-hour workshop covering strategies to start your business. It is designed as a low commitment way to explore a business idea and give future entrepreneurs a much-needed entry point. The workshop includes a workbook with exercises that introduce students to basic entrepreneurial concepts including budgets, customer acquisition and testing a business model. Workshops are currently offered free of charge to those registering in advance, a $25 savings.

The CO.STARTERS Core program is a more intensive nine-week program where students are led through exercises to build their businesses from scratch. Each week, community experts from Erie will answer questions and give advice in areas such as accounting, law, marketing and customer development. At the end of the cohort, each student will have a solid plan to start his or her business. Fee for this program is $125.

“These programs are unique in the Erie area in that they offer hands-on, guided learning with mentors and a peer network,” said Jude Shingle, emerging technology librarian at the Raymond M. Blasco MD Memorial Library Idea Lab. “Starting a business is hard. You don’t have to do it alone. These CO.STARTERS programs are a great way to start your business journey.”

The programs are offered as part of the Idea Lab’s broader strategy to support entrepreneurship and small businesses. As a partner of the NWPA Innovation Beehive Network, the Idea Lab is uniquely positioned to provide guidance and services for both early stage and hopeful entrepreneurs in Erie County.

Get Started Workshop

  • Monday, Aug. 24: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 15: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.


  • Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 13: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. (10 Tuesdays)
  • Applications due by Monday, Oct. 5.

Registration is required. Find more at


Download PDF of media release