GEARS Program for Startups and Small Businesses

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


Gain program insight from HVCI and meet their team here!


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

GEARS will start the beginning of October, 2022 with registration closing September 30th. Registration differs based on the program opportunity:

  • One-on-one advisory session and sounding boards: There are limited spots for the customized one-on-one advisory sessions and group sounding boards. Apply now to be considered for these highly competitive program opportunities – our team will then contact you to review your needs and arrange your sessions.
  •  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 Series: Think Dutchess will send Workshop announcements and registration links regularly via email and other social media platforms. Please complete the form below to join our GEARS email list.

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

GEARS Announcements and Registration Information


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.