Relationship building is fundamental to SourceLink’s ecosystem building methodology, and we make it a priority not only in our work with affiliates, but also with our own industry peers. Attending conferences and events allows us to spark new connections, learn from those who are doing similar excellent work, and gives us all a chance to celebrate the successes we are collectively making to advance the field of entrepreneurship-led economic development and ecosystem building.
The next few months have some of my favorite conferences and gatherings in store. We’ve curated a list below of events we will be attending along with why you might consider joining us!
Ecosystem Building Leadership Project Convening
Date: Thursday, September 8 – Friday, September 9
Location: Indianapolis, IN
The Ecosystem Building Leadership Project (EBLP) was created to advance the entrepreneurship ecosystem building field of practice. Hosted by the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), with funding and support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the purpose of this mass collaboration is to forge a network-based infrastructure to help accelerate understanding and adoption of ecosystem building.
The five working groups (charter, communications, governance, network and sustainability) and an advisory group have been meeting since March to design a model that meets this goal. The next step in this process will be to identify and develop three pilot projects to prototype the design created. This two-day workshop will focus on creating and developing these pilot projects.
Both Dara and I will be attending this important event. As long-time participants and volunteers to the entrepreneurship ecosystem building field, we cannot wait to see much of the work over the last five plus years come together and take shape.
IEDC Annual Conference
Date: Sunday, September 18 – Wednesday, September 21
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
The IEDC Annual Conference is one of the best ways to stay on top of economic development trends and insights. In recent years, IEDC has been intentional about making entrepreneurship a priority to ensure economic developers are exposed to the strategies and benefits of building strong entrepreneurship support networks in their communities. Recently, SourceLink partnered with IEDC to develop the curriculum for the first of its kind entrepreneurship-led economic development professional certification.
Not only will SourceLink be exhibiting at booth #231 in Oklahoma City, but Dara Macan will be a featured speaker on Tuesday September 20, 10:00 – 11:30 CDT in Taking an Entrepreneurial Approach to Managing Economic Development Organizations, a session on ways economic development organizations can manage budget constraints, help their businesses recover from the pandemic, respond to board demands, and monitor other stressors all while maintaining a high level of productivity.
As an IEDC member for the better part of 15 years, this organization has meant a great deal for my professional career. The courses are all top notch, conference presenters are always engaging, and the people who I have been able to connect with and learn from have been tremendous. The IEDC Annual Conference is my favorite IEDC event, and I can’t wait to make new friends and catch up with others this September.
When I asked Dara for her perspective she shared, “I have gained a lot of value from IEDC’s annual conference, but also by engaging in other IEDC events including the annual Leadership Summit and Future Forum Conference. These conferences provide an opportunity to learn about cutting edge programs being implemented by economic developers in their local communities. I appreciate the opportunity to share those insights with our SourceLink affiliate network.”
Date: September 28 – 30, 2022
Location: Emporia, Kansas
Another event that we believe important to share is the next RuralRISE Summit. Although our team can’t make it this year, we know that many of our affiliates are working to better reach, engage and support rural entrepreneurs and business owners. RuralRISE is one of the best organizations out there- from this Summit to their monthly educational webinars- they understand rural development and are a great bunch to get involved with and learn from. Bonus: if rural development is your passion, you must check out two other impressive organizations, the Center on Rural Innovation and Network Kansas.
InBIA Ecosystem Builders Forum
Date: October 11 and 12, 2022
Location: Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
SourceLink has been a long-time member and participant in InBIA (International Business Innovation Association) programming. Members of InBIA represent the best of the best in business incubation, acceleration and entrepreneurship centers. Their practical programming and diverse membership really help to make them stand out and the ecosystem building forums are a newer offering that our staff have been able to attend over the last few years. Although we can’t make it to this one, we highly recommend!
Startup Champions Network Summit
Date: Monday, October 17 – Wednesday, October 19
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Hosted by our friends and affiliate at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Forth Worth, the 2022 SCN Fall Summit will focus on Making a Movement, showcasing some of Fort Worth’s strengths, highlighting how these strengths can translate to a nationwide movement to combat the recent economic struggles in our country. Content will focus on actionable steps to start small movements for increased entrepreneurial activity in communities around the country that will kickstart an entrepreneurial renaissance in the U.S. Dara Macan will be attending this event and I know is looking forward to catching up with the Sparkyard team while there. Stay tuned for an exciting announcement from them about a new capital navigation resource coming soon!
Global Entrepreneurship Week: Benefits of Hub & Spoke Models for Building Entrepreneurship Ecosystems
Date: Wednesday, November 16
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. CT
Webinar Registration: https://bit.ly/3SJZPsq
Global Entrepreneurship Week: https://www.genglobal.org/gew/about
This November, Global Entrepreneurship Network will celebrate 15 years of helping millions of people unleash their ideas to start and scale new businesses through Global Entrepreneurship Week. The campaign began in 2008 with an emphasis on inspiring young people to entrepreneurship and has quickly grown to become a week that engages entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, researchers, support organizations and others collaborating to advance economic growth and innovation in more than 180+ countries around the world. Anyone can participate in creating or hosting an event the week of November 14th and frequently we have
We love participating in Global Entrepreneurship Week and this year our team has recruited expert guest speakers for The Benefits of the Hub & Spoke Model for Building Entrepreneurship Ecosystems—a webinar on the rising popularity of this model, and how hubs (nonprofits, governments, universities, and tribal entities) can support spokes (trusted, culturally knowledgeable local groups, and individuals) in connecting entrepreneurs to resources to help them start and grow.
On our webinar we will share tips on how to leverage government funding, create pathways to business-building assistance, recruit mentors and community navigators, and build equitable and sustainable entrepreneurship ecosystems with hub and spoke strategies. Panelists include experts from our SourceLink affiliate network and our friends who are building the field.
NLC City Summit
Date: Thursday, November 17 – Saturday, November 19
Location: Kansas City, MO
Partnering with the National League of Cities Inclusive Entrepreneurship program has been a wonderful and impactful collaboration. We are thrilled to have the chance to connect in person at their annual city summit, hosted this year in Kansas City, Missouri. Our team is most excited to learn from the many innovative cities who are attending how they are approaching inclusive entrepreneurship development. SourceLink is gearing up to host a fourth cohort of cities interested in identifying and better understanding their entrepreneur resource network. This is particularly exciting because these commitments come directly from mayor’s offices.
Connect with us
Going to any of these events and want to connect? Let us know by sending an email to [email protected]. Let us know if there’s an economic development or entrepreneurship event that should be added to our national calendar too!