Create Your Strategy

Accelerate Your Growth

A 10-week business accelerator program that will equip you with the network, knowledge, and tools needed to scale your business.

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  • 10-week business accelerator program
  • Learn alongside other business owners
  • In-Person Events
  • Live Virtual Classes; Tuesday & Thursday
August 29, 2023
November 7, 2023


  • Attend regularly
  • Participate fully—leave your cell phone at the door
  • Complete an initial assessment and follow-up assessments
  • Out-of-class assignments will be required
  • Create a Strategic Action Plan

Recommended Eligibility

  • 2+ years in operation
  • $200,000 revenues in the most recent fiscal year
  • 2+ employees (owners may be included in this count)


This program is free of cost in thanks to our program sponsors: Bank of America, Ice Miller, Sikich, & US Bank
August 11, 2023
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Alumni Testimonials

“Innovation DuPage has been an amazing educational and community resource for entrepreneurs. I was able to enjoy the Owner-2-CEO program and to this day still keep in contact with my found friends in the cohort. In addition, ID doesn’t hesitate to connect and highlight business owners for opportunities. I truly appreciate the organic and intentional way that ID has built community for business owners in DuPage County.”

Melissa Villanueva

CEO of Brewpoint Coffee

“Innovation DuPage was hands-on in helping me properly position our product and get in front of the best partners for our company. Their support was instrumental is getting us accepted to the Techstars program, which has already started to shape our Flat and greatly improve our customer success. The Techstars network is the largest and most tightly wound community in the world, so we are able to expand our reach even larger and faster.”

Brent Hasse

CEO of Flat Home Care Maintenance

“Working with Innovation DuPage for the Owner-2-CEO program was amazing. The support and education received has really helped me to push my business a little further with new ideas, concepts, and understanding the power of collaboration.”

Yvonne Toney

CEO of The Cotton Seed Creative
10 Weeks


Entrepreneurial Leadership Development & Delegation

Knowing who you are as a leader, your strengths and weakness will be the basis for developing a growth mindset and moving from working in the business to working on the business.
  • Perfecting an effective elevator pitch
  • Understand your personal BOSI DNA and how it impacts your performance
  • Understanding employee’s mindset and intrapreneurial skills
  • Improve your own personal performance and develop personal objectives
  • Creating effective delegation strategies, including monitoring and performance management

Planning and Strategy for Growth

  • Review the foundation of your business, mission, vision and values, & SWOT
  • Understand scalability and how it impacts your business
  • Identify methods and opportunities for growth
  • Develop skills to create an effective strategic plan for growth
  • Examine current business plan, business situation and organizational structure for best fit with your business model

Content and Communication

Going beyond the normal concept of marketing to evaluate the importance of developing and managing strong marketing content and solid methods of communicating your marketing message to your clearly identified customer base.
  • Understanding how your purpose and your customer’s needs interact
  • Know how to create and use meaningful value propositions to increase sales
  • Understand how buyers make purchase decisions
  • Determining appropriate media for your market
  • Create effective communications for use in a variety of media
  • Understand how digital and traditional marketing approaches interact to get the best out of both in a changing business environment

Sales and Lead Generation

No sales, no business. In this session we will be building on the content and communication session to create a plan for the development of a solid pipeline of sales leads and how to implement the plan to maintain the pipeline and close sales.
  • Tools to develop a sales pipeline
  • Procedures for tracking leads and secrets on how to act on those leads
  • Techniques for opening and closing a sale
  • Methods for delivering exemplary client care and generating repeat sales
  • Creating an effective sales and lead generation operational plan
  • Internal sales or an external sales force, what are the factors that need to be considered

Tactical Communication

Growing a business requires effective communication with a wide range of audiences, employees, vendors, customers, service providers to mention just a few. This session provides tactical and practical interpersonal communication advice and help you develop the skills to ensure productive working relationships both inside and outside the company.
  • How to develop shared mission statements driven by explicit expectations
  • Communicating effectively when challenges arise in the working environment.
  • Best practices for effectively communicating via email.  

Management in a Digital Environment

Irrespective of the type of business we operate, there is no escaping the impact of technology in almost every aspect of running our businesses. Whether it is accepting payments, managing the financials or using the full gamut of social media options, technology is a critical part of business growth.
  • Plan your digital environment, knowing what processes should and could be organized
  • Market your business in a digital environment, when to use social media, what to use and how to monitor the effectiveness of your marketing efforts
  • Handle financial transactions in a virtual environment
  • Understand how to develop automations that allow your systems to communicate with one another

Using & Managing Social Media Platforms

We hear a lot about social media and their value for growing business. The key to success is know which, what, and how and how to manage and monitor results.
  • • Using social media platforms in our overall marketing strategy (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc)
  • • Social media tools overview(Hootsuite, Buffer, Later, Agorapulse, Sprout Social, Sendible, etc.)
  • Curating content and creating a content calendar
  • •Understanding social media analytics and the KPIs for each platform
  • Advertising

Understanding and Using Financial Information to Manage Growth

Established businesses have a CPA to create financial statements and manage tax reporting. Growing a business however, requires review of company financial data as a tool to manage day to day business transactions for growth and profitability.
  • Know how to use financial information from your accounting software to manage business growth, effect change and improve performance and profits
  • Appreciate the value of budgets, costs and pricing strategies to manage people and processes in the business
  • Understanding break even analysis and ratios and how they are used to plan growth
  • Identify cash flow bottlenecks before they arise and know how to resolve them if they do happen
  • Understand what lenders look for to make financing decisions

Financing a Growing Business

You will need to finance the business at some point it you haven’t already. Learn from a commercial lender.
  • Discuss what banks are looking for when they make lending decisions
  • Learn what criteria they use to evaluate a business for lending
  • Prepare to present yourself and your company to a lender
  • Develop an understanding of how to present your company’s financial information to make the lending decision easy

Human Resources

Growing companies require people. They are the most expensive resource most companies will have so hiring decisions are amongst the most important and potentially costly decisions a business owner will have to make. In this session we will be looking at the HR function and understanding how it impacts business growth.
  • Understanding and creating the company culture for your business and how it can impact growth
  • Appreciate the legal background to employment activities
  • Identify critical issues related to Human Resource function and the potential traps for business owners
  • Assess current workforce situation
  • Develop appropriate job descriptions, policy manuals and compensation plans
  • Developing an effective management team
  • Understanding generational issues, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace

Growth Market Opportunities: Government Contracting

The US government is largest purchaser of goods and services in the USA making it a perfect business expansion opportunity. It’s a complex marketplace and this session focuses on the opportunities it presents and how to access them.
  • Understand how to navigate the maze of government contracting
  • Find methods of maximizing your exposure to government agencies and large corporations
  • Know how to access, research, and respond to government contract opportunities

Growth Market Opportunities: International Trade

The International marketplace is a $4 trillion opportunity and expanding at rates greater than the domestic market. In this session you will focus on the opportunities selling internationally presents for business growth.
  • Learn how to access the market intelligence you will need to determine suitable overseas market and how to compete effectively in those market
  • How to ready your company for export readiness and compliance
  • Discuss how international sales are financed

Growth Market Opportunities: Social Responsibility

Today’s consumers are more socially conscious and frequently use their spending power to support causes and businesses that share their own values and aspirations. Socially responsible business is good business.
  • What does it mean to make your business socially aware and responsive to changing consumer needs?
  • Organize, manage and market your business in ways that meet your growth goals
  • Understand how to remain sensitive to the values and aspirations of your customers.

Featured Instructors

2022 Owner-2-CEO Cohort