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First Course

05oct6:00 pm7:00 pmFirst CourseA Virtual Education Series

Event Details

Explore your idea for a food or beverage business with the region’s premier food business incubator — virtually!

First Course is our all-online, 4-part series of classes, conversations and workshops designed to help food and beverage entrepreneurs launch, pivot and grow their companies.

Our goal is to provide you with real-world guidance that can help you:

  • Understand how to identify market potential and your target customer
  • Get clarity on your strengths and weaknesses as an entrepreneur
  • Gain a new perspective on the landscape of the local food economy
  • Position your product to appeal to changing consumer behaviors

Learn about a broad number of crucial topics related to running a sustainable food business. The grand finale (on Thursday, October 8) will be a panel discussion featuring local food & beverage entrepreneurs offering first-hand insight from other food local entrepreneurs and industry experts on what “a day in the life” can look like, key learnings that can’t be taught in school, and the largest challenges and successes that entrepreneurship has brought to these business owners.

All current and future food and beverage entrepreneurs are welcome. There is no Hope & Main membership requirement to attend.


First Course is held virtually, via the free online tool Zoom.  A link will be circulated to registered attendees 24 hours prior to each session. Registration is per-business (rather than per-person).

MONDAY @ 5:30-7pm
Opening and Lean Business Canvas with Lisa Raiola, MPH, Hope & Main Founder & President
Starting with opening remarks from the woman behind Rhode Island’s premier food business incubator, Lisa Raiola will give an overview of food industry trends and consumer behavior and how these are forecasting since the start of the pandemic. Afterward, we’ll move into the Lean Business Canvas – an efficient roadmap for moving your business idea to a market-ready product or service.

TUESDAY@ 6-7pm
Legal Considerations with Alexander Chiulli, Barton Gilman
Attorney Alexander Chiulli will cover legal basics to know when launching a new business, including corporate entities, trademark searching and filing, and copyright protection. There will be time for Q&A as well.

Market Research with Matthew Parsons, Johnson & Johnson
An expert in market research, Matthew Parsons leads an interactive session on how to conduct surveys and tests necessary to refine your product and ensure its market viability.

Entrepreneurship Panel with Ashley Nichols, Flaky Crust Pies & Chef Haley Pollock, The Holistic Trick & other industry pros!

$195 FOR ALL FOUR SESSIONS. Registration is per BUSINESS, not per Entrepreneur. All four dates are included with a single registration.



(Monday) 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

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First Course October 2020

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