Dream of opening a vibrant storefront that contributes to your hometown community? Have an idea for the next great gadget? Looking to leave a legacy for your children in the form of a business you built from the ground up?

Start building your legacy through Early Risers Academy business classes.

Early Risers Academy is a free, 10-week, cohort-based business class designed to help business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs build the foundations they need to make their businesses successful.

Apply Today!

What Early Risers Academy graduates are saying:

Christian Johnson, EvenYou

"You deserve to give your dreams, your idea, a try. Early Risers Academy will make sure you are equipped. They will do everything in their power to make sure you succeed."

Te'Jal Cartwright, What's The Biz

"I could not talk to investors before Early Risers Academy. Now, when I'm in a conversation about business, and they ask about projections or my business plan, I can give real answers."

Sierra Leone, Acacia Wellness

"There is something to be said for working in an environment that is professionally supportive and culturally safe. Authenticity was at the forefront. You didn't have to explain or go underneath or hide or suppress."

Violet Johnston Hobbs, Social Ice

"I liked the structure of having a class, having due dates, timelines, things that can really help to operationalize this idea you have that's just out there in the stratosphere."

Danielle Phillips, GuideBean Digital Marketing

"If anybody is considering starting a business, they should do Early Risers Academy. It's a useful way to get introduced to people who will be able to help you with finances, research, and so many other things."

Roe Wallace, We the Dreamers

"It was like taking a masters class, but for free. When you're trying to be an entrepreneur, you need different resources, and a lot of people hold that knowledge. At Early Risers Academy, somebody is actually passing the torch."

A supportive cohort environment that offers one-on-one coaching, access to networks, and accountability partners

Business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in Early Risers Academy meet one evening a week for 10 weeks in a supportive environment that offers one-on-one coaching, access to networks and business support resources, accountability partners and business foundation-building. Participants learn from the Dayton, Ohio region’s experts in areas including market research, financial projections, business taxes, customer discovery, prototype development & marketing. Each week also includes pitch coaching, graduates pitch their business for a chance at $1K in seed funding.

Apply Today!

Who are Early Risers Academy business classes for?

  • Are you an aspiring entrepreneur with an idea for a business, but you aren’t sure where to start?
  • A small business owner who jumped in with both feet and is now wondering how to grow your business?
  • Operating a side hustle that you dream of making your 9-to-5, if only you could figure out how to generate enough revenue?
  • Dreaming up a side hustle to diversify your income?
  • Need to solidify your business foundation?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then Early Risers Academy is for YOU.

The curriculum:

Participants will complete Kauffman FastTrac coursework from the nationally-renowned Kauffman Foundation, receive pitch coaching and hands-on mentoring, participate in weekly discussions with successful entrepreneurs and experts, & access Dayton’s entrepreneur and small business resources. All cohort participants go home with valuable deliverables including market research, a completed business plan, and a high-quality pitch deck. And the culture of support carries beyond graduation.

Download a sample syllabus

The expectations:

Early Risers Academy cohorts meet one evening each week for 2 hours. There’s also homework — expect to spend 2-4 hours per week completing homework. You get out of it what you put in.

When will the next Early Risers Academy cohort run?

2022 Early Risers Academy business classes will run on the following dates:

  • Jan. 18 – March 22 (Tuesday evenings)
  • April 20 – June 22 (Wednesday evenings)
  • July 20 – Sept 21 (Wednesday evenings)
  • Oct. 11 – Dec. 13 (Tuesday evenings)

Apply Now