Two Categories, Five Tracks, Numerous Sessions...
The conference features more than 30 sessions that fall into two broad categories and five more specific tracks. These categories help attendees identify the sessions best suited to their experience levels and daily responsibilities.
ICBI32 Essentials sessions cover the nuts and bolts of running an entrepreneurship center and many of them are geared toward people who are exploring their options for supporting entrepreneurs, who are just starting a program, or who have recently taken their first jobs in the industry. The ICBI32 Essentials sessions provide the building blocks for the operational excellence that will allow you to help entrepreneurs most effectively.
The ICBI32 Voices sessions will take a deeper dive into the entrepreneurial support industry, exploring recent trends, the latest innovations, and projections for the future. Many of these sessions will feature people from the local startup scene, though they will also highlight the best and the brightest programs from around the globe. This category will include the trends and innovations, entrepreneurial ecosystems, and specialty tracks, providing both specialized and advanced information for people who are looking to learn about the latest in the industry.
Operational Best Practices for Entrepreneurship Centers
This track will cover the nuts and bolts of running an entrepreneurship center, from securing the funding necessary to keep the doors open to identifying and working with stakeholders to managing a facility. Topics will include how to fund and manage facility expansion, securing operational funding, measuring success, creating non-dilutive community funds, and effective policies and procedures for graduating clients and helping them succeed in the next stage. These sessions are key for people who are just starting out with their programs, but many of them also have interesting lessons to be learned for seasoned practitioners.
Innovative Programs for Serving Entrepreneurs
The primary goal of an entrepreneurship center is to help entrepreneurs succeed, and this track will explore the most effective programs and services for achieving that goal. Learn best practices for working with entrepreneurs to ensure their startups become viable businesses that contribute to local economies. Topics include effective strategies for coaching clients, helping entrepreneurs connect with sellers for their products, focusing on customers over investment, implementing lean planning methodology, creating programs to assist foreign firms, and innovative tools for teaching entrepreneurship.
Inclusion and Strategic Partnerships in Entrepreneurship Programs
The entrepreneurial support industry has shifted in recent years, and continues to change as technology and culture impact entrepreneurship, and as new approaches to providing support emerge and solidify. This track will explore some of these changes, as well as the role strategic involvement from corporations and other heavy hitters is impacting the entrepreneurial space. Topics will include incubator super hubs, engaging strategics with customers, inclusivity in funding, securing strategic investment in entrepreneurship centers, creating an effective startup culture within an organization, and how to market your program and develop a good pipeline on a limited budget.
Building Thriving Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
Establishing and growing a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem is widely recognized as the key to creating regional prosperity through new job growth. These sessions will explore the elements and strategies for building successful entrepreneurial ecosystems in any community. Topics will include creating strategic collaborations and partnerships, analyzing existing ecosystem gaps, using open source data to understand your ecosystem, inclusive ecosystems for growing minority-owned businesses, and working with entrepreneurs before they are ready for programming.
Many entrepreneurship centers focus on specific industries and therefore have unique challenges and opportunities. At the ICBI32, people from these sectors have the opportunity to learn more about working within their specific industries and to connect with others doing similar work. Topics will include trends in food incubation, engaging women entrepreneurs, cleantech programs, rural strategies, university programs, and working with students and youth.