Submitted by pparente on

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         CONTACT: Ranjna Das         
                                                                                                                          (609) 267-9660

DATE: Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016                                                                       Patricia Parente
                                                                                                                          (609) 267-9660, ext. 3081                                              


Innovative “Lean Venture Series” to Assist Startups and Businesses
New Facilitated Workshops to Benefit Community and Region
Launch Party Jan. 28 at The County Library  


Burlington County Library System (BCLS) and Rowan College at Burlington County’s Workforce Development Institute are teaming up to help startups and existing businesses succeed by offering interactive workshops, mentoring, collaboration opportunities, and more.

“The library’s partnership with the college creates a perfect opportunity to share expertise on an economic development initiative that is new to our region,” said BCLS Director Ranjna Das. “In the end, our community benefits by discovering an innovative way to approach business practices.”

A multifaceted initiative, the new “Lean Venture Series” program will offer a sequence of facilitated workshops focusing on the “lean startup” concepts pioneered by author Eric Ries and others beginning next month. All workshops will be held at the County Library in Westampton, and the program will officially kick off with a launch party set for Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m. Registration for both the launch party and the workshops is now open.

The goal of the new partnership is to help entrepreneurs launch and grow their organizations by teaching them to efficiently develop, test, and validate their business plans. Stressing “Creative Techniques for Nimble Business,” the program will feature newly-improved curriculum focusing on lean startup concepts and developed by the Arizona State University (ASU) Entrepreneurship Outreach Network.

Lean startup principles challenge business founders to build and run their companies in a new way to get to market quicker and avoid developing a product no one wants. The concepts, which are addressed by New York Times bestselling author Eric Ries in his book “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business,” have been adopted widely, not only by startup companies, but by existing companies in various industries, as well by government and nonprofits.

The curriculum will be presented in three stages, each consisting of five interactive workshops facilitated by BCLS Business Services Librarian Joan C. Divor and Barbara Witkowski, RCBC Manager, Business Outreach and Incubation Division. Each workshop will focus on a different topic that will run about an hour-and-a-half, and all sessions will be held on Thursdays starting at 6:30 p.m. Topics will include:

• Stage 1: Getting Started – Be introduced to the nuts and bolts of starting a venture, and leave with an understanding of whether or not an idea is ready to grow. (Feb. 11, 18, 25, and March 3, 10.)

• Stage 2: Making Sure Your Idea has Legs – Prototype solutions and test them in the marketplace. (March 24, 31, and April 7, 14, 21.)

• Stage 3: Prepare to Grow – Learn to make necessary tweaks to a venture or a team, and gain an understanding of a customer base to help ensure success. (May 5, 12, 19, 26 and June 9.)
The Lean Venture Series program also will provide complementary mentoring, a co-working space and scheduled co-working sessions for collaboration at the library, an online community via social media, and more.

The public is invited to learn more about the new partnership by attending the Jan. 28 launch party at the County Library. The event also will feature a fun “story slam” for entrepreneurs who want to share stories of their unique startups, including the ups, the downs, and everything in between. Refreshments will be served.

Cost of attendance for the launch party and story slam is $10 per person (early bird $7.50), and registration is required. To register, go to

Cost of attendance for the interactive workshops beginning in February is $50 for each five-week sequence. For discounted options and to register, go to

The Burlington County Library is located at 5 Pioneer Boulevard off Woodlane Road in Westampton. For more information, contact Joan Divor at (609) 267-9660, ext. 3018 or BCLS Community Engagement Manager Michelle Martin at (609) 267-9660, ext. 3046.

BCLS is dedicated to building an active and vigorous entrepreneurial community with startups, techies, creators, freelancers, telecommuters and collaborators. Additional information may be found on the BCLS Venture Hub business Meetup page:


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