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GEW Retrospective

Last week was a long week for me. I took part in the planning of six events, all of which took place over five days’ time. I hosted or cohosted four of those. It was my first Global Entrepreneurship Week, and I think it went well. Here are some thoughts.

9 + 3 = 200

GPEDC and Junior Achievement collaborated to get nine speaking opportunities at three local high schools, impacting more than 200 local high school students. Thanks goes to Mary and Angie from Junior Achievement for facilitating this effort.

Braving the Storm

Bradley University’s Turner School hosted Startup Peoria’s first ever angel panel discussion. There were about 50 people in the audience, which was a pleasantly high number, especially considering the fact that it was raining cats and dogs all day and night.

Thanks to Ken from BU, Steve from Attollo, and Stan and Kip from Central IL Angel Network for planning and participating. Thanks to the professors who offered extra credit to their students to show up. Obviously some of them wanted to be Netflixing and chilling, but we learned ’em anyway. We learned ’em good.

3,400 Cups

Wednesday morning we celebrated two years of 1 Million Cups in Peoria, and we got a lesson in business from Levi Dinkla. His presentation was great. I’m grateful for those who have shown up religiously throughout the two years we’ve been educating and connecting entrepreneurs and business owners in Peoria over coffee.

We’ve had about 100 of these, and average attendance is about 34, last time I checked. This means we are one-third of one percent of our goal of connecting entrepreneurs over a million cups of coffee.

Thanks to Colleen and Tori for planning event logistics. Thanks to Levi for telling stories. Thanks to Josh at Peoria Art Guild for hosting.

Waking Up Crying

ILSBDC director Ross Miller gave his normally scheduled workshop, which is a nuts-and-bolts information session for people who are on the verge of legally incorporating their businesses. Spoiler alert: he talked a lot about taxes, and I learned something really important. Hire a professional; otherwise, you’ll wake up crying all the time.

Thanks to Ross for being a rock and roll superstar. Thanks to Bob from MCB for hosting.

Another Five Grand

Branden Martin brought his business model for mobile device protection to KeyStart and left with a giant fake check for $5000. He’ll be signing investment papers with Attollo in the days or weeks to come. I had a blast hosting this event and I’m pretty certain the crowd liked it too, because First Mid Illinois Bank & Trust picked up the tab for pizza, beer, concert tickets, and tickets to a unique evening of entertainment at Dome Planetarium. That’s right.

Thanks to Jeremy Howard from First Mid Illinois Bank & Trust. Thanks to Steve and Ken from Attollo, and to Tim from DJ4U. Thanks to volunteers Dan-o, Abby, and Leah. Photo recap to come.

Apps and Apps

Everybody loves tech demos. OneFire cohosted our final event of the week. We gathered for happy hour at Pere Marquette and ate delicious meats on a stick, plus a bunch of other delicious appetizers, while OneFire featured some of their 3D software applications. People mingled. Music bumped. All was right in Peoria.

Thanks to Jason, Harsh, and Jake from OneFire. Thanks to Tim from DJ4U. Thanks to MJ and Jeff from Pere.

Save the Date

As long as last week was is as short as this week will be. I’ll rest up, then get right back to work. In fact, I had the first meeting for Greater Peoria Startup Weekend today. Save the dates of February 26-28, 2016.


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