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An 8-Week program to build a business and
level up your entrepreneurial toolkit!

Apply to Actuator


Actuator is BRIC’s free entrepreneurship program designed to get your tech or tech-enabled business concept ready to launch with an 8-week focused curriculum.

Actuator is designed to position your business concept for a great launch and to provide you with a suite of tools and insights to build a “founders mindset” for a lifetime of entrepreneurship. This includes exposure to a number of different business models, our tech transfer NASA partnership, and BRIC's robust startup ecosystem.

Pair of female entrepreneurs working at a computer
Presentation about website development given to a group of entrepreneurs and business leaders

Multi-Format Startup Learning

Prepared Learning

Founders are responsible for completing each week’s provided learning materials. This could be articles, decks, or videos, all of which ensure participants arrive informed and ready for the rest of the week. This learning empowers group and mentor time to be active and collaborative.

Weekly Workshops

A weekly workshop empowers Founders through engagement with Subject Matter Experts and course content.

Mentor Connections

Founders connect weekly with assigned Mentors to apply what they've learned and develop their business concepts. Mentor meetings are not only critical learning opportunities, but build key connections for Founders and Mentors, alike.

Moments and Milestones

During the 8-week program, there will be several key opportunities to evaluate your progress and your business’ value in order to build towards next steps.

Business Canvas

During every week of Actuator, founders will edit, adapt, and iterate on a Business Canvas. The business canvas provides a one-page summary of a business plan and refining the canvas will be an ongoing process throughout the curriculum, providing a tool for quickly communicating business value.


Founders engage with Mentors and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) at every step of the program. Each company will be assigned a primary Mentor. Weekly workshops are led by selected experts who have experienced firsthand "the good, the bad, and the ugly" of startup life.


At the end of each 8-week program, Founders present their concepts and businesses. Participants showcase what they've learned, successes and anticipated milestones, and identify what support they need to move their business concept forward.


Actuator's in-person workshops create a community of Founders who share experiences and gain new insights in a warm, hospitable setting.

However, we understand that life gets busy! Rest assured - Founders may remotely access the curriculum, join workshops sessions online, and connect with mentors virtually.

Springfield, Vermont

Our Springfield Campus is located at BRIC HQ in the beautiful, historic Park Street schoolhouse. The BRIC co-working space comes with a state-of-the-art video production and recording studio, high-powered computing, and a high-speed dark fiber internet connection.

Program Benefits

Founders receive 3 months of free membership to BRIC's coworking facility, and continued access to the BRIC Entrepreneurship Network and our digital curriculum platform.

Other benefits include preferred rates with vendor partners, free seminars, lifestyle and wellness coaching, and snacks.

Focus Areas

If a business concept utilizes technology, Actuator can help it meet its fullest potential!
For example, we have key partnerships and mentors in several focus areas:

NASA Goddard & Tech Transfer

Actuator’s partnership with NASA Goddard is all about bringing NASA innovation and entrepreneurs together to launch new businesses.

Participants in Actuator will gain access to a catalog of NASA IP and Inventions to inspire business concepts and connect directly with mentors, inventors, and advisors from the NASA teams.

Advanced Manufacturing

Our partnerships with Vermont State University and the Vermont Manufacturing Collaborative provide cohorts with everything they need to build an advanced manufacturing startup.

Learn how to concept, build, and scale, with access to leading-edge manufacturing technologies, mentors, and tools.

Advanced Computing

Norwich University and top advanced computing experts provide Actuator participants with a wealth of experience to build Advanced Computing startups.

Cohorts can explore cyber security, quantum computing, artificial intelligence and networks, and augmented reality with access to BRIC’s 10GB Dark Fiber Network.

3 Annual Cohorts

BRIC offers three 8-week cohorts each year.
Pick the season that feels like the best fit for you.

Apply Now

Spring Cohort

April - June

Fall Cohort

September - November

Winter Cohort

January - March
Photographer standing at the edge of a lake looking at foliage in Vermont

Entrepreneurial Lifestyle

Embarking on a startup journey is no small feat! What do you want? How do you want to live your life?

Discover how to incorporate these values from the start, so that you AND your business can thrive.

Seasonal Cohorts

Our cohorts are seasonal so participants can enjoy unique lifestyle activities across the year.

Explore rivers and lakes in the Spring, hike through the foliage in the Fall, and enjoy Winter on the slopes or by the fireside.

Food & Drink

Anyone who loves Vermont knows that we have one of the most incredible food scenes in the world!

Celebrate Vermont’s culinary scene with connections to makers and restaurants throughout the state.

Making "Local" Possible

Rural startup life can seem intimidating at first, but comes with a wealth of benefits.

BRIC breaks down common challenges and provides resources to empower Founders to build businesses in Vermont.

Apply to Actuator!

Apply Today! You can apply for any of the upcoming seasonal cohorts based on your schedule and needs.

This is a FREE program.

Whether you have an idea on a napkin or a fully-fledged business plan, follow the link below to apply.

Cohorts launch in January, April, and September!