Launch Your Retail, Service and Lifestyle (RSL) Business the Right Way

RSL Go is a structured stupport program for MSU’s students and faculty who are interested in starting a successful retail, service, or lifestyle company. The program includes a proven checklist, up to $2,000 in funding, and mentorship through the E-Center. It is open to all majors, self-paced, and can be completed in as little as 30-days. Successful exit from the program is met when the team has built a company that has been successfully prepared to either launch or work with a bank on lending needs. Participants who complete the program receive a $1,000 stipend.

Open to all majors ● Self-paced ● Co-curricular ● Complete as fast as 30-days


Follow a proven path with tools to advance your business.


Up to $2,000 capital. We take no equity, and it’s not a loan.


Meet with executives one-on-one and learn from successful alumni.

Retail, Service, and Lifestyle Checklist

The RSL Go program is for businesses who serve local or regional markets. (e.g. local restaurants, boutiques, service providers)

Stage 1 – Start

  1 – Meet one-on-one with the E-Center to discuss idea. Book a Meeting

  2a – Complete Startup Planning Guide. Download Guide

  2b – Complete Solopreneur Workbook Download Guide

  2c – Complete Competitor Analysis Download Guide

  3 – Conduct a survey (online or in-person) of potential customers. Get at least 50 responses.

  4 – Write a one-page summary of what you learned from your customers:

What did you get right in your business model?
What did you get wrong and will change based on feedback?
In what ways are you planning to refine your plan as a result?

  5 – Register for LivePlan business plan software (Get 12-mo free) Register

  6 – Complete the Pitch tab in LivePlan. Meet and review with the E-Center. Book Meeting

  7 – Draft a 36-month financial projection. Download Financial Template (.xlsx) or use LivePlan Forecast tab.

  8 – Create a slide deck outlining your business opportunity. Download Guide

Product: What is your product or solution? How is it priced?
Customer: Who is your ideal customer? Why will they buy from you versus others?
Marketing: How *specifically* will your promote your products?
Competition: Who is the competition; how are you better?
Finance: How will it make money? What will you sell it for? How much does it cost to make? How many do you plan to sell?

  9 – Meet and review your slide deck and LivePlan deliverables with the E-Center. Book a Meeting

  10 – Apply to pitch for a RSL Go Grant for $1,000. Present to the E-Center RSL Go Panel. Apply to Pitch

Stage 2 – Launch Stage

 11 – Establish a legal business entity. See guide

  12 – Create an establish business identity (name and logo).

  13 – Establish a web presence (web domain, business email).

  14 – Complete a draft business plan (Plan tab of LivePlan)

  15 – Meet with the MSU Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Book a Meeting

  16 – Meet with at least one faculty member to review and endorse your plan.

  17 – Generate at least $1,000 in sales revenue to demonstrate interest.

  18 – Join the Greater Starkville Development Partnership (GSDP). More Info

  19 – Email your created documents for review by your Student Client Checklist.

  20 – Submit final documents for review and receive a $1,000 for completing the entire checklist. Submit Documents