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 $2,500 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 $2,500 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

Stage 2 – Search

  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

Stage 3 – Plan

  7 -Complete a draft business plan (Plan tab of LivePlan)

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

  9 – Write a one-page summary describing your needs:

What do you need funds for to advance the business? Be specific.
How have you exhausted resources otherwise available to you?
How does this make a significant impact on your business?

  10 – (Optional) Create a slide deck outlining your business opportunity Download Guide

  11 – (Optional) Apply to pitch for a Boost Grant for Submit online application form. Apply to Pitch

  12 – (Optional) Present to the Entrepreneurship Center Advisory Board (ECAB) for up to $1,000.

Stage 4 – Launch Stage

 13 – Establish a legal business entity. See guide

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

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

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

  17 – Establish BAIL team (banker, accountant, insurance agent, and lawyer). Find Professionals

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

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

  20 – Receive a $1,000 for completing the entire checklist.