Startups, start your engines!


If you’ve been thinking about starting your own business, don’t miss the 5th Annual Ignition Entrepreneurial Summit hosted by REDI.

You’ll hear local entrepreneurs share their startup stories, learn about creative funding opportunities, discover some small business resources, do some speed networking, and even prep for April’s Pitch Competition.

Two things I’m most excited about show how quickly the business world is changing—not just the technology, but the entire attitude about how to do a startup.

The Lean Startup Workshop shows how fledgling companies are flipping the traditional method (research/development/market testing) on its head. Instead of spending years perfecting a product and hoping that a limited test market will provide sufficient information for improvement, a lean startup moves quickly, getting a product into the market with the expectation that it is a work in progress. Users themselves help alter the product in real time and each iteration brings it closer to meeting their needs. It started in the high-tech industry but it’s applicable to many other areas. In fact, a foundation of creative innovation can help ensure that any product or service will continuously adapt to a changing marketplace.

The iBeacon Scavenger Hunt draws on new technology familiar to anyone who’s been to an Apple store. The iBeacon is a location awareness system that provides phone notifications and guides users to websites. From a sales standpoint, it can alert a customer to sales as they walk through a store and will allow them to purchase items without having to find a register and pull out their wallet. For cities (and downtowns in particular), this technology has some exciting possibilities. Imagine phone-based wayfinding, public art tours, or event promotions. Even traffic and construction alerts can be fed through this system.

This day-long event will be held on Friday, February 27 from 8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. and there’s still time to register. Can’t make it? They’ll be live streaming the entire thing.