The story of .CO is the story of entrepreneurship; the company, itself a start-up, was established with a USP of becoming the go-to-domain for start-ups and entrepreneurs. While the company has supported many start-ups built on the .CO domain through its website this week it has launched a membership program designed to aid entrepreneurs build “the next big thing.”
According to Juan Diego Calle, the founder and CEO of .CO, “We’re not here to build ‘just another domain extension.” Instead, he sees the .CO domain as a larger support system for entrepreneurs, “We’re here to support the thriving community of innovators, entrepreneurs, start-ups, developers, investors, marketers and big dreamers who are building the world’s next great businesses and brands on .CO with the fuel they need to take action on their plans – and to succeed.”
.CO’s Membership Program, i.go.co, gives entrepreneurs that are using the .CO domain access to discounted or free resources designed to help build their businesses. Along with the announcement of the program .CO also announced some of the launch partners and offers available;
- Free passes to Startup Weekend events worldwide;
- Free tickets to elite educational events like Eric Ries’ Lean Startup Conference and 500 Startups’ Warm Gun Conference;
- Free access to co-working spaces in key cities;
- Free SEO consultations; and
- Discounts on General Assembly courses, live and online.
The launch of the program comes during Global Entrepreneurship Week during which time the .CO domain organisation is also auctioning some 50 of its reserved domain names. It also comes at a time when global domain name providers are moving away from simply being a means to operating a website towards becoming more active in addressing entrepreneurs’ needs (just look at what .UK and .ME have announced in the past month).
i.go.co will be fully launched at 2013’s South by Southwest in March but until then its current focus will be on development and user feedback. The system’s long-term goal is to grow to allow members to offer complimentary supports to each other alongside those offered by .CO’s partners.
Lori Anne Wardi, the Vice President of .CO said, “What makes us different from other domains out there is that our greatest focus is not on getting people to buy .CO web addresses, but rather, helping them to succeed once they do.”