Exploring Entrepreneurship and Growing Your Economy From Within – IEDC’s 2015 Annual Conference

Exploring Entrepreneurship and Growing Your Economy From Within – IEDC’s 2015 Annual Conference

International Economic Development Council

IEDC Annual Conference

Early Bird Registration Deadline Extended - Sign up by Friday, August 21 and Save

The economic downturn of the past decade has shifted many EDOs’ efforts from business attraction to nurturing small firms, and the focus of many individuals from finding a job to working for themselves. Yet new business failure rates are high even in the best of times. That makes it more important than ever to develop an entrepreneurship support system that can foster the success of small businesses in your community. 

Join IEDC in Anchorage as we answer the questions:

  • What are the key resources that entrepreneurs need?
  • What can you do to encourage entrepreneurship in your community?
  • How do you calculate the value of local food businesses?
  • What are some successful ways to leverage higher ed partnerships?

Sessions and workshops with an entrepreneurial focus include:

Thursday, October 1

ED + Ed: Partnering to Bridge the Gap

Economic development organizations (EDOs) and institutes of higher learning work on many of the same pressing problems, yet their efforts are sometimes uncoordinated. When it comes to setting up entrepreneurial ecosystems, these organizations must partner for the initiative to be most successful. This all-day workshop will dive deep into several ways EDOs and institutes of higher learning can partner to win grants and undertake innovative projects.


William Michalerya, Associate Vice President, Government Relations & Economic Development, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 
Anne Roise, MCP, CEcD, Instructor, Savannah State University, Savannah, GA 

Sunday, October 4

Dishing up Local Food Chains for Economic Development

Local food andfoodpreneursare making waves in the economic development world. This workshop will demonstrate how you can calculate the value of your local food economy, and will bring together economic development practitioners working in the local food economy to talk about best practices. 


Rachel Dahl, Executive Director, Churchill Economic Development Authority, Fallon, Nevada 
Kenneth Meter, MPA, President, Crossroads Resource Center, Minneapolis, MN 

In It to Win It: Competitions for Your Start-Up Economy

A little friendly competition never hurt anyone. Business plan competitions and other competitive events for entrepreneurs can be an exciting way to help entrepreneurs realize their visions, and learn from others in the process. And, of course, follow through with a mentoring program is critical in boosting their chances of success. This session will look a variety of programs to encourage entrepreneurship as an integral part of a business-friendly, effective economic development program. 


Simon Galpin, Director General of Investment Promotion, Invest Hong Kong, The Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong 
Katie Baker, Manager, Kauffman Foundation, Kansas City, MO 
Alana Peterson, Program Director, Haa Aani, LLC, Anchorage, AK 

Monday, October 5

Cashing in on Culture

Arts and culture, also known as the creative industry, is collectively an economic asset to your community. It provides opportunities for entrepreneurship and jobs and enhances the quality of life and city image. Hear from economic developers who have helped build or sustain the necessary frameworks and infrastructure, provided business assistance for entrepreneurs, and incorporated the creative industries into their overall economic development plan. 

Tuesday, October 6

Breath of Fresh Air: Cultivating an Outdoor Recreation Cluster

Mother Nature supplies the scenery and adventure, and a legion of outfitters, businesses, hotels and entrepreneurs provide the rest. Nurturing an outdoor recreation cluster can generate substantial revenue for your community, in addition to making it more marketable as a vibrant community. Whether biking, hiking, gliding, or rafting, this session will look at how to get your community and tourists in gear for economic growth. 


Susan Bell, Principal, McDowell Group, Juneau, AK 


Thomas Christopulos, EdD, CEcD, Business Development Manager, Ogden City Corporation, Ogden, UT 
Joseph Jacobson, Vice President of Business Development, Huna Totem Corporation, Juneau, AK 
Jeff Welch, CEO, Mercury/CSC, Bozeman, MT 

Wednesday, October 7

The Essence of Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a powerful tool for entrepreneurs, and as an economic developer, it is a tool you should have a strong understanding of in order to help the entrepreneurs in your community. Crowdfunding can serve as a critical mechanism for a host of business functions, from market research and product development, to pricing. But it is not without its risks, regulations and barriers to use. Cap off the IEDC 2015 Annual Conference by grabbing a bite to eat at a local favorite – the Bear Tooth Theatrepub – and hear from entrepreneurs that have successfully used crowdfunding to kick start their dream businesses.   


Jon Bittner, Vice President, Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, Anchorage, AK 

Posted August 19, 2015

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