The 2016 Great Lakes International Innovation (GLIn2) Summit

What do I love more than attending an entrepreneurial conference? Speaking at an entrepreneurial conference! I am excited to be heading to Milwaukee this week to participate in the Great Lakes International Innovation Summit. Co-hosted by the Michigan Business Incubator Association and the Wisconsin Business Incubation Association, this multi-day event will offer educational and networking opportunities for all entrepreneurial support professionals working with incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, maker spaces, economic development agencies, universities, SBDCs, and more. The GLIn2 Summit kicks off with an opening reception on Wednesday October 19, 2016 at 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Not only am I excited to be learning and networking with my peers, but I’m also looking forward to seeing some old friends. The keynote speaker is Tracy Kitts, Chief Administrative Officer with the International Economic Development Council. Kitts was the VP, COO and acting CEO of the National Business Incubation Association (now International Business Innovation Association) for several years. I served on the board of the NBIA for six years, and for most of those six years, I saw Tracy at every board meeting. It will be nice to see him and hear about his new gig at IEDC. I can’t wait to hear him speak on Thursday at 8:00 a.m.

The GLIn2 Summit features sessions focusing on three key topics: business coaching, entrepreneurial ecosystems and serving entrepreneurs. Subject matter experts from Wisconsin and Michigan will be sharing their experiences and insights, and the coaching track will be lead by my old friend David Terry, President/CEO of Destination Coaching & Training LLC. When I was on the NBIA board of directors, David was, too. He was a terrific friend and effective chairman of the board. I’ll really enjoy catching up with him. David specializes in strategic business growth, assisting entrepreneurs and professionals in mastery of time and money, developing a market niche, and building a winning team.

I’ll be co-facilitating a session on crowdfunding with Gwen Benner. Milwaukee is a Kiva City and Gwen is a Kiva Trustee and Small Business Advisor serving the greater Milwaukee area. My experience with crowdfunding is primarily regarding rewards and pre-sale campaigns. I’m certain I will learn a lot about crowdfunding for loan dollars and the Kiva process. In addition to my session on crowdfunding there will be sessions on angel capital investing, talent attraction & retention, fab labs/maker spaces, co-working, and intellectual property. So if you are free later this week and wan to zip over to Milwaukee to mix and mingle with other entrepreneurial support professionals, we’d love to see you. For more information on the GLIn2 Summit, visit the event website at http://wbiastate.org/events/.

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