“I recently read a book stating that the average US citizen lives a much more luxurious life than Louis XIV,” began Tighe Greenhalgh, organizing partner of Think Big Baltimore.
I sat there, phone still pasted to my ear, wondering where this interview was about to go.
“It talks about the fact that Louis could never imagine being protected from the oppressive summer heat by air conditioning,” he continued. “Louis could never have fathomed climbing into a plane and in three hours, walking into a completely different part of the world. Today, each of us can go to a movie theater and be personally entertained by the best performers in the world. We can walk into a restaurant and have a professional chef make exactly what we ask for. And the fact is, entrepreneurs made all that possible.”
And then, everything clicked. And Tighe Greenhalgh was absolutely right.
Greenhalgh’s fascination with entrepreneurship led him to read books such as these, but also led him to get involved in six different startup companies from medical supply companies, to green energy companies, to non-profits. But no matter what Greenhalgh is specializing in at the moment, whether it’s a new non-profit organization or Louis XIV, one this is for sure: it involves entrepreneurship.
“People love freedom. And for me, nothing provides freedom like being an entrepreneur,” said Greenhalgh. “So, when I heard about a conference that was promoting entrepreneurship and helping entrepreneurs, I immediately thought, ‘I have to get that in Baltimore.’”
Greenhalgh is talking about Think Big Kansas City. After attending the event last March, he found the opportunity to expand its reach to more cities throughout the country—starting, of course, with Baltimore.
“I think the attitude in Baltimore and Kansas City—and other cities like Boston, Detroit, Denver, and Philadelphia—is that they all want to establish themselves as a hotbed for startups and entrepreneurs,” said Greenhalgh. “The fact is the entire country has that desire. As word gets around that there is an event like this, any metropolitan area is going to jump at it. They’ll all want the opportunity to put their entrepreneurs in one place, celebrate what they do, and let them do more together.”
Greenhalgh was sure to note the national reputation that Baltimore currently has. He made note of the city’s problems, but also explained the large population that is constantly looking for solutions to these issues. “Baltimore possesses a very intelligent and very passionate group of entrepreneurs that are working to make Baltimore a better place,” he said. “Entrepreneurship is what makes Baltimore what it is.”
So maybe it’s time to put aside the crab cakes, harbors, John Hopkin’s hospital and the drug trades that Baltimore has always been known for. Now, we may start to identify Baltimore as a city of entrepreneurship and growth.
Think Big Baltimore, the Premier Conference for Entrepreneurs, Investors and Startups, is to take place July 13th at Towson University (hosted by TowsonGlobal, the university’s incubator). For more information about Think Big Baltimore, call 866-THNK-BIG or visit their website (to be launched within the next few weeks) at http://www.thinkbigbaltimore.com/. Stay tuned for more information about Think Big Baltimore!
Bigger is better. And now, we’re bringing big to Baltimore.
Written by Allison Way. Allison is a writer and videographer for Think Big Partners, Kansas City’s mentorship-based business incubator and startup accelerator. To read more of Allison’s work, please visit the Kansas City Entrepreneurship Examiner as well as her articles on BrooWaha, eZine, Newsvine and Helium.