15 Oct Global Entrepreneurship Week returns to Fort Worth on a mission to connect local startups to the world
There is no denying the impact the concept of a “glocal” economy has had on the North Texas innovation ecosystem. So it was no surprise to hear that Global Entrepreneurship Week, an international initiative powered by the Kaufman Foundation and supported by dozens of world leaders and a network of more than 15,000 partner organizations, was returning to Fort Worth after a five-year hiatus. The week, which kicks off on Thursday, November 8 with an opening party and concludes Friday, November 16, is on a mission to inspire, connect and engage the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Fort Worth with the world.
About Global Entrepreneurship Week
During one week each November, thousands of events and competitions in 170 countries inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. Powered by the Kauffman Foundation, the initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a network of more than 15,000 partner organizations. GEW is held November 12-18, 2018.
Each November, GEW reaches millions of people of all ages and backgrounds through local, national and global events and activities. From large-scale startup competitions and workshops to small, community discussions, GEW reaches new audiences and connects participants to a network that can help them take the next step, no matter where they are on their entrepreneurial journey.
Worldwide, 170 countries participate in GEW every year, which results in about 35,000 events that include more than 10 million people. In the United States, nearly 5,000 events, activities and competitions are planned across all 50 states by colleges and universities, entrepreneurial support organizations, government agencies, economic development groups and more. Global Entrepreneurship Week is a simple way to support and connect the Fort Worth entrepreneurial ecosystem to the wider community of entrepreneurs and business leaders nationally and around the world.
“Our startup community is an indispensable engine of economic growth and we want to spend a week celebrating entrepreneurs and finding news to engage with them and help them along their own journeys. GEW will bring attention to the great work they are doing to bring new innovations to market and to create the jobs of the future,” said Cameron Cushman, the Director of Innovation Ecosystems at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth.
GEW Heads West
Hosting GEW in Fort Worth was a no brainer for the team of local leaders passionate about bringing this special event to Tarrant County. The organizers’ goal? Inspire, connect and engage with the local community of innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, educators and students. They hope the weeklong event encourages the community to explore all aspects of entrepreneurship in an effort to catalyze greater cooperation and connectivity beyond the normal silos and patterns of engagement.
“One of the reasons we wanted to bring GEW back to Fort Worth was to connect our local startups with the rest of the world,” said Meghan Wright, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Management at Texas Wesleyan University and one of the co-leaders of the local GEW planning committee. “Research shows that if startup companies can think about tapping into international markets early in their existence, then they will grow faster, create more jobs and avoid failure.”
The GEW festivities kick off with an opening party at the new IREB building on the UNTHSC campus Thursday, November 8. GEW includes some events that regularly occur in Fort Worth, such as Startup Weekend, which will run Friday, November 9 – Sunday, November 11 at the UNT Health Science Center. 1 Million Cups, a weekly educational program for entrepreneurs, will celebrate its five-year anniversary during the week. Fort Worth’s second Startup Crawl will feature startups in several locations on the east side on Thursday, November 15.
The week also will include new events in Fort Worth, such as the first State of Entrepreneurship Tuesday, November 13 at the UNT Health Science Center.
“We hope that Fort Worth will use Global Entrepreneurship Week as a time to come together and support the local startup community.” Wright said. “Starting a company is perhaps the hardest thing that most people do in their lives and we need to come around them and cheer them on as they build their businesses and create jobs.”