Ten at the Top & Spartanburg Chamber Partnering to Host Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development Event


Ten at the Top, in partnership with the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, is pleased to present Fostering an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in the Upstate, a program designed to build regional entrepreneurial ecosystems by cultivating connections and a culture that unlocks entrepreneurial talent to be held at the AC Hotel in downtown Spartanburg, Wednesday November 28, 2018. Supporting partners for the event also include VentureSouth, VentureCarolina and The Johnson Group.

Jansen Tidmore, EVP of Corporate and Urban Development for the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce had this to say regarding the upcoming event:

In the process of strategizing our economic development initiatives, the data has been abundantly clear that entrepreneurs are essential to growing your community and talent base. The next unicorn company could be in a Spartanburg garage right now and it is essential for us to build the proper ecosystems to support these innovators. Partnering with Ten at the Top, The Johnson Group, and VentureSouth to bring the Kauffman Foundation to the Upstate is one of the many foundational blocks we are laying for this ecosystem to reach its full potential. We look forward to continuing to build on these efforts, together.

The program will begin with a thought-provoking keynote on People are the New Companies: Entrepreneurial-Led Economic Development presented by Andy Stoll of the Kauffman Foundation. This luncheon event will provide foundational information on the role entrepreneurship plays in economic development and how ecosystems impact the success of entrepreneurial ventures and is specifically for professionals and government officials who are interested in learning more about growing their economy through entrepreneurship.

Following the luncheon, Andy will conduct an interactive workshop on tactics and connections to build and measure our local entrepreneurial ecosystems. Entrepreneurs and anyone working with or directly supporting entrepreneurs and the ecosystem will benefit. “With so much more visibility on the many entrepreneurial activities in the Upstate, Andy’s visit will provide additional perspectives and tools to help us knit together a more effective ecosystem of resources,” says Erin Ouzts, Chair of TATT’s Entrepreneur Support Providers Network. “This is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in economic development through entrepreneurship to gather and learn from each other.”

The day will conclude at RJ Rockers Brewery to continue the learning, collisions and connections at a social sponsored by VentureSouth & VentureCarolina. Charlie Banks, Managing Partner with VentureSouth, notes, “All data points show that entrepreneurship is the #1 net job creator within our economy, so we get pretty excited when a community takes a proactive approach to understanding how economic development impacts entrepreneurship.

We appreciate the leadership that Ten at the Top and the Spartanburg Chamber have taken with this event and look forward to watching the long-term, positive impact.”

Registration for the November 28th luncheon and workshop is free, and advanced registration is requested. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve your spot today by visiting https://tenatthetop.org/.

Session Descriptions

Ecosystem 101: Keynote Luncheon | 12:00 – 1:15 p.m. (Registration begins at 11:30 a.m.)

In this informative and entertaining lunchtime talk, Andy Stoll, Senior Program Officer at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation — one of the world’s leading foundations focused on entrepreneurship — will share stories and insights into the changing nature of the economy in a 21st century world and the role of entrepreneurs in transforming the local economy, creating jobs, reducing poverty and increasing community vibrancy.

Decades of research shows that entrepreneurship empowers individuals, improves standards of living throughout a community, and creates economic development, wealth, and innovation in the economy. Studies show that new and young companies, which are started by entrepreneurs, are the primary source of job creation in the American economy, and that for every 2% increase in entrepreneurship, we see a corresponding 1% reduction in poverty.

Ecosystem 102: Afternoon Workshop | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Building on the lunchtime keynote, this interactive workshop will dive deeper into specific tactics and collaborations needed to build a more robust entrepreneurial ecosystem across the Carolinas. This workshop is intended for entrepreneurs, those who support them and anyone interested in building a more robust system of support for entrepreneurs in the region – attendance at the lunchtime keynote is not required, but highly encouraged. The workshop format will primarily use small-group, discussion-based activities in which participants will collaboratively develop actionable next steps to help move the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem forward.

Connect and Collide at RJ Rockers | 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

After a day of learning and challenging ourselves we will continue the connections and collisions while unwinding at RJ Rockers, a locally-owned brewery.

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