GEARS Program for Startups and Small Businesses

The GEARS workshop series is open for registration and will start October 25, 2022. 

Program Overview

GEARS, an initiative of Think Dutchess powered by the Hudson Valley Center for Innovation (HVCI), is an innovative free program that will help your startup or small business grow and thrive by offering targeted programs to overcome your entrepreneurial challenges and help you clarify your plan.

This program is made up of four dynamic opportunities – each uniquely developed to provide you with expert support as you take your business to the next level. The workshop series is the focal point, and the one-on-one sessions & sounding board groups support you as you design your plans and go deeper into each topic. All startups and small businesses located in Dutchess County and/or business owners who live in Dutchess are eligible to participate. GEARS FAQs

The GEARS Program includes:

  1. A highly interactive, virtual workshop series that will prepare you for the next level of growth and give you the tools and knowledge to continually examine and improve your business
  2. Customized one-on-one sessions with expert advisors to develop plans and take deeper dives into workshop topics and your business goals
  3. Group sounding boards led by experienced entrepreneurs that will support the implementation of workshop recommendations and address challenges
  4. Join the Slack channel-  Dutchess GEARS Slack offers a great opportunity to bring business owners, information, and communities together through an easy to use messaging app

How to Register

Registration differs based on the program opportunity:

  • Workshop Series: Register for the workshop series here. This is a flexible series that does not require attendance at all sessions. Once you register for the workshop, you are automatically registered for all sessions. Can’t attend the live workshops? Use the same registration link to get access to the recordings to watch at a later time
  • One-on-one advisory session and sounding boards: The application is currently closed for this opportunity
  •  Slack Community: Simply click to join the Slack channel and be a part of a long lasting community of local entrepreneurs and business owners

Workshop Topics

Join us every Tuesday, October 25th – November 29th, 11am ET or receive the recorded session directly to you inbox!

  1. How to Really Know Your Customer – Using interviews and pain points to define your customer personas
  2. Rapidly Launching Products and Prototypes – Validating redesigned and new offerings with your customers
  3. Building Successful Brand Identity – Using your why, values and uniqueness when defining your brand
  4. Finding and Reaching Your Customer – Demographics, customer segments, and go-to market strategies
  5. Systems and Teams Are the Heart of Your Business – Designing teams and business processes to achieve your goals
  6. How and When to Raise and Ramp Revenue – Learn what investors are looking for, when the bank can be a resource and/or how to self fund your business

Through this workshop, you can expect to…

  • Create and/or validate your core mission, vision and values
  • Develop and test your branding strategy
  • Determine sales & marketing channels
  • Identify the right tracking and operations software for your business needs
  • Learn methods for capitalizing your business

…and more!

Gain program insight from HVCI and meet their team here!

Complete the form below to never miss a GEARS announcement or opportunity to register for the virtual workshop.

About HVCI:  The Hudson Valley Center for Innovation(HVCI) is the lead manager for this program. HVCI is a team of seasoned entrepreneurs and business owners that has helped hundreds of startups and small businesses like you to: develop the skills needed to advance your business; learn how to approach your greatest challenges and get on track to growth; prepare for raising capital; manage your time effectively; and find accountability in your community to grow your business. HVCI also has an extensive regional network and will connect you with potential partners, advisors, teammates  and customers.



Amanda Gomes, Marketing and Development Manager




A premier business-led organization, Think Dutchess Alliance for Business brings together 10 agency partners creating a one-stop shop for your site selection, financing, incentives, permitting and advocacy, strategic planning and counseling, marketing and networking needs.