Vermont Slauson’s Food Service University, Urban Pose and LevelUP cohorts launch in October. The free series are transformative for small businesses.

Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation is launching three groundbreaking small business series in October, two of which are new to the organization’s curriculum.  

Urban Pose, a seven-class series, was designed to help BIPOC fashion designers launch their clothing line. Food Service University (FSU), a four-class series with an additional menu of electives, walks food industry hopefuls through the process of launching a new business. Whether your dream is to open a restaurant, food truck,food prep company, or to be a sidewalk vendor, this series is your starting point. Finally, LevelUp is launching its Fall cohort. The celebrated LevelUp series, designed by our partner Dr. Karen Semien McBride (CEO Institute), empowers small business owners to shift their mindset to expand their business. Read about one small business owner’s success following the LevelUp program here.

All three series offer mentorship, business assistance and unique industry opportunities. Look below to see where to register and get the ball rolling on your small business.  

Urban Pose 
Apply and Register for Urban Pose

Launch your line with VSEDC’s Urban Pose, a free step-by-step seven-course series for BIPOC fashion designers in Los Angeles. The curriculum includes perfecting your pitch, mentorship, one-on-one consulting, straight talk from LA designers, and the opportunity to earn a spot in an industry trade fashion show. Because there is limited space in this program, all registrants must also apply for a spot in the program. Applications are due October 16th. Orientation is on October 24th.  

The core curriculum for Urban Pose covers:

1 – Business Plan, Nov 7 
2 – Create the Line, Nov 21 
3 – Pricing the Line, Dec 5 
4 – Manufacturing, Dec 12 
5 – Brand Positioning, Dec 19 
6 – Ready to go to Market, Jan 9 
7 – Financial Management, Jan 16 

Ever dreamed of owning your own restaurant or food truck? Confused by all the licenses, registrations and certifications needed to get started? Need a mentor to guide you through the fundamentals of running a successful food business? 

Food Service University 
Register for Food Service University

Join VSEDC’s Food Service University to find out how to take your entrepreneurial dreams from idea to conception. 

This program is open to all start-up businesses or existing businesses in LA County that have been established for less than 12 months. Registrants must be able to commit to attend all 3 Fundamental Courses and 1 Elective Course. (You may take more than 1 Elective Course.) You must be able to commit to a minimum of 1 follow up TA session with business coach. 

Food Service University Core Courses 

1. Vision to Conception: Restaurant Business Plan Writing-participants will be provided a business plan template and coached through completing pages 1-10. Required Permits, Licenses and Registrations for operation. Homework: complete the 4 worksheets from the business plan template 

2. Understanding Your Profit: Restaurant Accounting and Budgeting Basics. Restaurant Accounting and Budgeting Basics. Introduce Start-up Expenses Worksheet. Homework: Complete start up expense worksheet and determine capital needed to open. 

3. Food & Labor Costs Explained: Review Food Cost Formulas. Create a mock schedule to establish labor costs. Strategies to manage high food cost/high labor costs and eliminate them. Homework: Complete mock schedule, determine weekly payroll costs 

Participants must take one elective course.

Elective 1 / CFO Licensing-How to Start a Home Based Business 
Elective 2 / Food Truck Ready! 
Elective 3 / Sidewalk Strong – Small but Mighty Business Model 
Elective 4 /Co-pack your Business Expansion 

Led by renowned business psychologist, Dr. Karen Semien McBridge, LevelUP’s executive coaching and leadership program helps business owners shift the way they think about their business to make room for growth and sustainability. 

Register for LevelUP  

The program provides professional business coaching and resources, as well as four 1-hour sessions that meet once a month to cover key topics such as marketing, capital vs. cash flow, and sustainability planning

Learn how to read the Business Health barometer from the lenses of EOES – a business growth method created by MKCircle CEO Institute that stands for Emulate, Originate, Establish and Sustain. 

The program offers:  

  • 4x 1-hour group virtual sessions with topics such as Business Awareness vs. Self Awareness  
  • Assessing Owners and Business Limitations and Strengths 
  • Strategic Planning I (Emulate and Originate) 
  • Strategic Planning II (Establish and Sustain) 
  • Masterminds’ Workshops with Peer Networking offer expert speakers on core business topics such as marketing, capital vs. cash flow, and sustainability planning 
  • Pitch presentation coaching, and a pitch session to invited VC’s, Investors and grant funders with feedback.