Cities Across the United States Engage Local Entrepreneurs

Jessica Wray Bradner | November 21, 2016
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Across the United States local government offices, chambers of commerce, and entrepreneurship support organizations gathered together during Global Entrepreneurship Week to help their area founders find ways to make their dreams a reality.

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque celebrated GEW through a variety of events and workshops to help mobilize those both interested in entrepreneurship and those experienced startup founders interested in learning more about the community.

To kick-off Global Entrepreneurship Week, TechCoABQ hosted it’s kick-off party and fireside chat at Boese Brothers Brewery. Speakers at the event included Mark Johnson from Descartes Labs, Rob Ingram from Silicon 66, serial entrepreneur Travis Kellerman and millennial mentor Tamara Thorpe.

In preparation of GEW, University of New Mexico Anderson School held events on campus for students and the community to get involved by hosting an entrepreneurship bootcamp and an interactive lecture from local entrepreneur and UNM grad Andy Lim, founder of his new startup AddMi.

Other Albuquerque events touched on entrepreneurship sectors in tech, health and food, and included a focus on women, minorities and youth in entrepreneurship.

Louisville + Lexington, Kentucky
GEW Louisville, hosted by EnterpriseCorp: a Division of Greater Louisville, Inc. and the Kentucky Innovation Network, marked GEW 2016 through a series of events including the launch of mentorship and support initiatives for entrepreneurs and the announcement of 2016 Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame inductees.

Mentor Louisville connects entrepreneurs to mentors, industry experts and service providers in the area to help founders begin, build and broaden their businesses. The program is designed to assist startup companies with scalable, innovative or disruptive products.

Kentucky legend Colonel Harland David Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken and creator of the KFC secret fried chicken recipe, was inducted to the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame during GEW. Sanders began making his chicken for customers at his service station in Corbin, Kentucky, during the Great Depression, and after perfecting his recipe, his chicken became so popular he was able to franchise the restaurant around the country – and eventually abroad.

Lexington hosted a Stand-Up for your Startup Pitch Competition, sponsored by the Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network and the Bluegrass Small Business Development Center. A dozen founders and founder teams from the Bluegrass Region were selected to make five-minute pitches to a panel of judges. The University of Kentucky also hosted events for their campus and local community.

San Juan, Puerto Rico
From Nov. 14-19, Puerto Rico’s startup community came together to get inspired, learn, connect and propel entrepreneurship in Puerto Rico.

From pitch workshops to open co-working space for entrepreneurs to get help and advice, Puerto Rico engaged those interested in learning more about entrepreneurship and those who are experienced in the space. Workshops included how to code for beginners and how to pitch to potential investors.

Learn more about Puerto Rico’s events.

St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is another new addition to the GEWUSA Startup Cities initiative. GEW St. Louis kicked-off with an awards ceremony and fundraising gala, and hosted a variety of workshops, as well as hackathons and pitch competitions for local entrepreneurs.

Startup Weekend, one of GEW’s featured events, ran the weekend before Global Entrepreneurship Week, held at CIC St. Louis. Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event that allows participants to live the startup life for the weekend, and experiences both the fun and challenges of starting your own company.

On Wednesday, Nov. 16, Startup Connection, St. Louis’ largest annual celebration of entrepreneurship, brought together the city’s startup community at Washington University. Startup Connection celebrated St. Louis’ promising early-stage companies, and to also highlight the support organizations that help the region’s entrepreneurs start and scale.

For a full list of events that happened during GEW in St. Louis, check out the Accelerate St. Louis website.

Tulsa, Oklahoma
During GEW, Tulsa had a wide range of activities ,from the Tulsa Startup Series pitch competition and an exciting new food entrepreneurship marketplace that will kick-off the celebrations in Tulsa, to a Tulsa State of Entrepreneurship report released during the week.

The Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation produced the State of Entrepreneurship Report in partnership with 36 Degrees North, and was released on Thursday during Global Entrepreneurship Week. The State of Entrepreneurship 2016 is an update to the 2015 report, as a way to reflect on the progress and goals of Tulsa.

Kitchen 66 is also a new hub in Tulsa that helps kick-start Tulsa-based food venture concepts into real businesses by providing mentorship, commercial kitchen space and business training. Kictchen 66 sponsored the November Market Day during GEW, with their companies present to explain what their business is and share some delicious food.

Little Rock, Arkansas
During GEW Little Rock, various entrepreneurial and innovation support centers came together to collaborate and promote activities and programs as a way to help drive excitement for entrepreneurship and economic growth in the community.

The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub hosted 1 Million Cups last week, and is one of the community organizers for the meetup program that is also active throughout the year. The U.S. Small Business Administration held two free, intensive workshops on finance and the process of starting your own business. The Innovation Hub also sponsored a High School Startup Day program on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

The Clinton School of Public Service has a speaker series each month, and partnered with GEW Little Rock to bring the topic of entrepreneurship into the series during the week. A local support program to empower women and minorities in entrepreneurship, Start Here Little Rock, also hosted an event.

Jessica Wray Bradner
Jessica is a former multimedia journalist with a background in print and online media. At the Global Entrepreneurship Network, she creates daily... About the Author