Friday, October 29, 2010

"If 2010 wasn't the Year of the Entrepreneur, then 2011 certainly will be!"

(yes, you can quote me...)

Sorry for the delay but here's my latest. Greetings from DC & the global research conference on Business Creation. Nice to have been invited to speak but even nicer to see the steadily increasing interest by top scholars & educators in how do we craft policy to grow entrepreneurs! I have brought back a few fresh insights we can use in Idaho. (In fact, the very latest research will make you grin from ear to ear!) But first let me share some insights from my delightful, if sleep-deprived KC trip.

My trip to KC to visit the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation AND bond with the global array of terrific Startup Weekend organizers...mindblowing. I am still babbling to people about my experiences in & after KC. (And, yes, the infamous red shoes were in attendance...)

As one of the SW organizers said, Kauffman has become a "Disneyland for entrepreneurs" - not sure that's a perfect metaphor, but isn't entrepreneurship the ultimate 'E-Ticket' ride??

Kauffman Foundation

They have programs for growth entrepreneurs, education, tech transfer, you name it. Kauffman is responsible for Global Entrepreneurship Week -and now are the lead investors in Startup Weekend. They also are now the leading supporter of cutting edge research into how to grow a more entrepreneurial community -and a more entrepreneurial society. While there, I hand-delivered "fan letters" from Governor Otter in recognition of the need to do more and more to grow a more entrepreneurial Idaho. I'm working now to get a speaker or two from there to visit Idaho in the near future.(My pestering may be paying off? LOL)

There is much in Idaho that they like, there are many people & groups that they see as champions of entrepreneurship. (But I wouldn't be surprised if they also have VERY long memories about those who've disappointed them.) They want to help Idaho; shall we let them help us? ;)

Startup Weekend

While all this might seem like good news, the *real* good news from the trip was the sight of ~100 incredible Startup weekend organizers from across the globe pulling together. I'm ready to go to war with ANY of these folks. (I'm already connecting some of them to my other friends in the entrepreneurship world.) Folks, this is true experiential learning -the kind of brain-changing education that's one of my usual topics for evangelizing.

Go to www.startupweekend.org for more details -- but the most gratifying story is how entrepreneurship brought together Israelis & Palestinians at a Startup Weekend (http://vimeo.com/13359551 for more) Man, this is one Startup Weekend that I'd kill to help with next time

Came away with so many great ideas - I am still boiling them down & will share soon, I promise!

Given the Kauffman connection, it shouldn't be surprising that Startup Weekend and Global Entrepreneurship Week are natural allies. Any local SW is instantly connected to essentially the entire world.

Global Entrepreneurship Week

Last year, GEW (www.unleashingideas.org) had ~10 million people (many of them young, all of them young at heart!) in >100 countries. They expect the numbers to keep rising - don't we want to be connected?

Any organization or individual can sign on as a 'partner', just go to the website (www.UnleashingIdeas.org) & follow the links. 60 seconds & zero dollars later, you're on board! (Some of you have or will soon be getting a more formal invite; if your organization requires a formal invitation, I'd be tickled to send one!) Then let's start thinking about events:

* How can I help you do or help do an event?

* How can I help connect you to others' events? (We're all in this together...)

AND… there are a couple dozen Startup Weekends going on globally the weekends before & after GEW – and a major competition has just sprung up with off-the-hook prizes for the best SW teams. (As if we needed any more incentive to do Startup Weekends.)

ESTech

The infamous (?) Eagle Star Tech Corridor crew is gearing back up - with some great ideas, but... we want to hear from YOU. What events would help move the entire valley forward?

"Portland Ten"

Here's an amazing model from a former Idahoan, Carolynn Duncan, who is mentoring an ambitious cadre of Portland entrepreneurs who want to launch high-growth ventures.www.portlandten.com is the site -- but the really good news is that Carolynn asked me "Norris, you should do this in Boise." Nothing like a proven model with the founder willing to help us, eh? This is but one of several great mentoring-based learning programs that Idaho suddenly has access to! (More on that soon.) http://www.portlandten.com/

Other Tidbits

Free e-letter at http://www.MarketingTechie.com from my compadre at Michigan State, Glenn Omura, and his team. A nice curated aggregator of the latest & greatest news & info on techhnology & marketing.

Again, if you want to know more about my adventures, along with the education/training notes I just promised you, I'll have a longer report from my various Kauffman & other huddles - what I've learned! In the meantime, check my blog for "what I did on my summer non-vacation" ;) It’s at http://entrepreneurshipidaho.blogspot.com [I really need to move to Wordpress, don't I? and blog more? Blog better?? ;) ]

In the spirit of JFDI, keep remembering... "Entrepreneur" is a VERB!


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