By Wayne Miller
The Venture Center
“No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team” – Reid Hoffman, co-creator of LinkedIn.
Throughout my career, I’ve heard many people with great ideas shirk at the prospect of actually putting those ideas into action to build a business. It’s not because their ideas are not as innovative as the next person’s, and it’s not due to a lack of need for that particular solution. Instead, it’s because many people see starting a business and entrepreneurship as a lone venture, and scaling a mountain alone can be daunting. But entrepreneurship and building business work best, as Reid Hoffman says, alongside a team.
That’s the idea behind Global Entrepreneurship Week, which is happening from November 18 to November 22 across the globe. Head over to www.genglobal.org to see how entrepreneurs around the world carve out a week to celebrate entrepreneurship and strengthening ways for anyone to start and scale a business. From a global perspective, events like these are ground zero for team building.
At a local level, we’re continually building teams to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Arkansas. For example, the Spark! small business pre-accelerator is a partnership with the Little Rock Regional Chamber, and it has provided a sense of community that is contributing to the growth of six central Arkansas companies.
ReadTheLabl founder Kent Wood says the Spark! Pre-accelerator has created deeper involvement in and awareness of resources available to entrepreneurs in the area.
“As a new startup, it’s easy to feel isolated,” said Wood. “But connecting with mentors and other startups helped accelerate our businesses and added a layer of confidence that comes from having a whole community supporting us.”
We know we need the community to be successful in our mission to support entrepreneurs through education, collaboration, and acceleration. With the help and guidance of the Little Rock Regional Chamber, the Spark! pre-accelerator has made the most of every networking opportunity and is leveraging relationships so these entrepreneurs are as supported as they can be.
The best part about building a supportive, robust entrepreneurial ecosystem is that we don’t have to wait for Global Entrepreneurship Week, or any other particular month or program, to get involved. The Venture Center regularly holds workshops and networking events, providing community-building and ecosystem supporting opportunities. All are always welcome to attend.
And, one of our biggest opportunities of the year, Pitch ‘N Pint, is coming up soon. The Venture Center’s annual 60 second “Shark Tank” style pitch competition connects entrepreneurs to the investor and startup communities, while providing seed money prizes for pitch winners. It’s serious fun, and there are still tickets available at venturecenter.co/pitchnpint. Join us, be part of the team, and cheer on your favorite local small business on December 10.
Any person with an idea to explore, we encourage you to reach out and meet with us. Attend our community programs and get involved with our growing community support network. We will all work together to help you out.
If you’ve been there and done that, we still need you. Sign up to be a mentor, to speak at a VCWorkshop, or attend the upcoming LunchNLearn panel and cheer on our Spark! Cohort. The opportunities to build strong entrepreneurial teams here are endless and incredibly worthwhile because we know that the more successful we can help others become, the better off we all are.
*Article originally appeared in the Little Rock Regional Chamber’s Ignite blog