launch your business

beyond the stratosphere

Mission Ignition is a free, 10-session course designed to help anyone in Prince William County start their business from the ground up before the start of 2022. Are you ready to take your business to the next level?

Attend the Course In-Person

Applications are now closed. This course will run every Wednesday starting September 15 to November 17 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM and will operate in-person with the option to attend some lessons virtually

Sign-Up for the Online Course

If you cannot attend the course, that doesn’t mean you cannot be a part of Mission Ignition!  Sign Up for updates and we’ll let you know when we post each course on the Mission Ignition website!

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What Is Mission Ignition?

Mission Ignition is a 10-week course created to educate current and future business owners in Prince William County how to start and grow their business. Developed and delivered through a joint venture between Prince William County Economic Development, the Mason Small Business Development Center, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, and Brickyard Cowork, the 10-week program along with one-on-one counseling sessions will show the 25 participants how to get their business flying.

Here are some of the lessons you’ll learn from attending the course:

 

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Orientation - Getting Started

Virtually from 6:30-7:30 PM on September 15, 2021

This session will be a walkthrough of the course material and will involve an overview to how the class will operate, along with an introduction to your instructors and counselors. This first  meeting will be virtual as opposed to all other class sessions.

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Got a Business Idea?

In-Person from 6:30-8:30 PM on September 22, 2021

This session will cover your value proposition of the business idea, your target customer, and how you can test your business hypothesis using the Lean Startup principles and filters to help you make this exciting entrepreneurship leap.

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Business Model Canvas (BMC)

In-Person from 6:30-8:30 PM on September 29, 2021

This session will explore the elements of the Business Model Canvas and how research techniques to build out a validated business model. Entrepreneurs will get a chance to present their business idea and the value proposition of their BMC.

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Your Business Launch

In-Person from 6:30-8:30 PM on October 6, 2021

This session will explain the legal and administrative steps to register, file and start your business in your state and locality. It will also cover insurance and operational considerations for business owners.

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Creating Your Brand and Developing Your Digital Presence

In-Person from 6:30-8:30 PM on October 13, 2021

This session will focus on the elements of creating a cohesive brand identity, designing business collateral, and how to build a compelling website and social media presence to attract customers and generate leads.

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Preparing Your Pitch and Exploring Sources of Funding

In-Person from 6:30-8:30 PM on October 20, 2021

This session focuses on finding outside sources of funding (such as investments, venture capital, etc.) and developing the pitch needed to secure such funding.

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Creating Content and Generating Leads

In-Person from 6:30-8:30 PM on October 27, 2021

This session explores creation of content for your digital presence and the tools for automating the push of the content and measurement of the marketplace engagement

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Smooth Operator 1 & 2

In-Person from 6:30-8:30 PM on November 3 & 10, 2021

The first session session deals with hiring and managing employees (Human Resources), building operational financial processes (Accounting). The second pertains to preparing for emergencies (even a health crisis!), finding a space for your business (Real Estate) and staying safe from cyber threats are all in a days work in terms of your business operations (IT).

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The Grand Opening

In-Person from 6:30-8:30 PM on November 17, 2021

Preparing for a great launch internally and externally, connecting with the community, and networking with other business leaders are all key to a successful launch of your business. This session will be a panel discussion with our Subject Matter Experts and will cover the basics for a grand opening whether virtual or in-person.

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And Off to the Races!

In-Person from 6:30-8:00 PM on December 1, 2021

The final session will double as an information session for Chamber and other county networking opportunities, as well as a celebration on the completion of the class.

the venue

This course will be taught from Brickyard Woodbridge, a coworking space located right of I-95 neighboring the Stonebridge Shopping Center. Brickyard’s executive conference room and adjoining event space will be used to host the course. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own devices to take notes (WiFi will be available). Refreshments and coffee will be offered to keep attendees hydrated and focused!

WHO IS your flight crew?

We are working diligently to line up speakers for each lesson, and are still actively seeking a couple of additional speakers to help round out the course. If you are interested in helping teach one of the lessons, shoot us an email. Here are just a couple of people who are going to be leading the curriculum:

Timm Johnson

Timm Johnson

Captain of Mission Ignition

Director of Mason Small Business Development Center

Clarice Grove

Clarice Grove

Co-Captain for Mission Ignition

Small Business Developer for Prince William County Economic Development

Debbie Jones

Debbie Jones

Co-Captain for Mission Ignition

President & CEO, Prince William Chamber of Commerce

Bernard Ferret

Bernard Ferret

Senior Trainer for Mission Ignition

Senior Business Counselor of Mason Small Business Development Center

Subodh Nayar

Subodh Nayar

BMC Trainer for Mission Ignition

Sales, Marketing, and Product Developer of Mason Small Business Development Center

Elis Delvin

Elis Delvin

Senior Trainer for Mission Ignition

Senior Business Counselor of Mason Small Business Development Center

Future SME

Future SME

Commercial Real Estate Trainer for Mission Ignition

Earth Title Coming Soon…

Denis Walace

Denis Walace

Program Organizer (AKA "Bones")

Brickyard Woodbridge Community Manager

George Siragusa

George Siragusa

Senior Trainer for Mission Ignition

Senior Business Counselor of Mason Small Business Development Center

Future SME

Future SME

HR Trainer for Mission Ignition

Earth Title Coming Soon…

David Behrens

David Behrens

Technical Associate (AKA "Scotty")

Brand Ambassador & Web Developer for Brickyard Coworking

Hussain Shah

Hussain Shah

Branding Trainer for Mission Ignition

Digital Marketing Expert of Mason Small Business Development Center

Future SME

Future SME

Accounting Trainer for Mission Ignition

Earth Title Coming Soon…

It’s time to

Take the course

Take this once-in-a-lifetime chance to make your business dreams a reality, get one-on-one coaching, and constant mentorship as you get your business flight-worthy! Dive into the online curriculum below to get started….

Flight Investors

 This course was built and designed to you by our partners, who are commited to helping small businesses like yours to tkae flight and succeed.

FAQ

What is the course commitment? Can I just attend one of the lessons?

Given the commitment the counselors and trainers will be spending with each of the students, we cannot offer single lessons or classes to external guests. The course will be walking each student through a comprehensive business development plan, and skipping lessons leads to reduced success.

Therefore, each student who is chosen from the applications submitted must agree to attend 70% of the courses in-person (baring any changes in COVID-19 limitations). The other 30% can be attended remotely using Google Meet. Only one course can be missed, and must be made up with a Mason SBDC Counselor.

How are applicants chosen?

Applicants must submit background information on themselves and the company they are interested in starting. You DO NOT need to have started a company before taking this course. In fact, we encourage those who have yet to start, as they have the most to gain from this course. With that said, we are not going to discourage anyone from applying, however if you have a more established business (exceeding a certain time in operation, a certain number of employees, or a certain amount of monthly revenue) you may be asked to join a session later in the future for more established businesses.

With that said, if you are a well-established business that needs help in reshaping for the future, don’t hesitate to reach out to Mason SBDC for counseling and Prince William County Economic Development for resources and help. 

Can I attend with a colleague or partner?

Absolutlely, in-fact we encourage it! However, both you and your partner must separtely apply and agree to the terms on the application.

However, out of fairness of other businesses in attendance, we will not be allowing more than two people from the same firm attend in-person. We will gladly consider allowing other team members to tune-in virtually, if there is enough interest.

Does this Mission Ignition cost anything?

This program is free, monetarily speaking! However there will be an expectaion of time comitment to the course, which will include homework and in-class assignments.

Some assignments may also require you to invest monetarily in reccomendations made by counselors in this program, so keep in mid that some capital will be needed to get your business off the ground

How does SBDC counseling work?

Mission Ignition Participants will be offered class “after-hours” and will be assigned to conusleors to work with throughotu their term. These counselros will continue to work with students after this course to ensure their gropwth and success. Counseling “after-hours” can be scheduled to met the particpants needs, and there will be a open Zoom/Google Meet for particpants to check in regularly throughout the week with a counselor.

Keep in Touch

Get Updates

Address

2700 Neabsco Common Place, Suite 101
Woodbridge, VA 22192

Phone

(703) 586-6036

Keep Up-to-Date on Mission Ignition