Monday, May 9, 2011

Global Entrepreneurship Week Kicks Off in Kansas City

Although Global Entrepreneurship Week doesn't officially start until November 14th, buzz about the week-long celebration is in the air...especially in Kansas City.  I was able to experience GEW's first step in 2011 by attending the Global Entrepreneurship Week National Forum, held at the Kauffman Foundation last week. 

At the GEW National Forum networking event and reception that took place on Thursday night, I had the opportunity to meet dozens of entrepreneurs, startups, and GEW organizers from Silicon Valley to Cincinnati and all places in between.  Being able to meet all of the people who make GEW possible was an eye-opening experience. 

On Friday, the National Forum started with a breakfast at 8:00AM and finished with two breakout sessions (Kansas City's Plans for GEW/USA 2011 and Fresh Ideas for Our Growing Movement).  In between, there were updates on national events and activities, a speech about tools, tactics and resources for GEW, an overview of the Kauffman Foundation, and a Q&A session with Jonathon Ortmans (President of Global Entrepreneurship Week). 

The most interesting part of the GEW National Forum was the informative session about the national events and activities that GEW supported.  Below is a short list of some of the activities and events that will take place this year:
  • Startup Open - a competition for anybody who has had a "startup moment".  The winner will walk away with startup prizes to help grow their dream.
  • Startup Weekend - a 54-hour event in which competitors develop a launch a new business.  The winners from each Startup Weekend then have the chance to compete in Startup Battle.
  • Your Big Year - winners of Your Big Year get to travel around the world for one year.
  • Clean Tech Open - an open that seeks the new clean tech companies out there.
  • World Series of Innovation - the opportunity for high school and middle school students to develop new products in a classroom setting.
  • Future Entrepreneurship Education Summit
Last year, 18,277 organizations planned events during GEW.  Want to get involved in GEW this year?  Visit the GEW site and see how you can contribute!  Stay tuned to learn how Think Big Partners is going to get involved in GEW...

Written by Allison Way.

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