Thursday, June 28, 2012

Did One Week KC help Kansas City Become America’s Most Entrepreneurial City?

One Week KC set out with the goal of inching Kansas City toward becoming America’s Most Entrepreneurial City. Did it achieve its goal? 

Making Kansas City into the Most Entrepreneurial City in America is a major undertaking. Rome wasn’t built in a day.  So let’s ask ourselves a different question instead: Did One Week KC lay the foundation for Kansas City to be the Most Entrepreneurial City in America? Yes...but how?  Did this 9-day celebration really foster the entrepreneurial action and growth that we need to claim the big title?

One Week KC was filled with a many events that, first and foremost, brought people from different industries into the same atmosphere.  Starting on Monday, June 18th, the organizers of the conference provided a platform to allow entrepreneurs, investors, startups and like-minded individuals to interact with one another at a minimum of two times a day!  Now that’s networking. 

iKC, the premier conference on innovation and entrepreneurship, was just one of the components to One Week KC.  iKC’s Inspire Talks and panels not only brought people together, but provided motivation and education. The keynote presentation from Dr. Michael E. Raynor of Deloitte Services LP gave great insight into deliberate disruption. In the afternoon, the interactive discussion panels served as kindling for the Fire Up talks.  All in all, the event was a success, and helped Kansas City inch closer to claiming the Most Entrepreneurial title. 

There was something for everyone throughout One Week KC—from networking events to seminars, breakfasts to happy hours. But that still doesn’t answer the question, “How did a 9-day conference build the foundation?” It can be answered simply with that one word we keep going back to; networking.

Networking is the like pipe from National Treasure; it’s actually quite mysterious. On the surface, it’s just a pipe, but when you dive deeper and think of the different ways it can be used, that’s when you unlock its true potential. Sure, the days of the One Week KC were filled with great learning opportunities. But it’s critical to keep in mind the old adage we hear on an almost daily basis: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” (especially in the world of entrepreneurship!).  Waffles, trivia, baseball, and entrepreneurship have very little in common. But because of One Week KC, each of these events served as an avenue for entrepreneurs to network and build valuable connections—connections that could lead into creating more and more new startups here in Kansas City.

What do you think?  Did One Week KC help Kansas City become America’s Most Entrepreneurial City? 

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