Silicon Valley and New York City used to be the exclusive homes of start-up businesses. But that economic landscape is changing, leaving room for smaller cities like Wilmington to become a hotbed for entrepreneurs.
To attract entrepreneurs, a city must have two things: affordable housing as well as other entrepreneurs and creative folks. That’s according to Hugh Forrest, the Director of South by Southwest Interactive Festival. He is the keynote speaker for the Coastal Connect Entrepreneur and Capital Conference, hosted by UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He says that building an innovation economy requires patience and persistence:
"Smaller markets, such as Wilmington, can grow and prosper in a way now that they never could before. The bottom line is, again, creating or helping to foster an ecosystem that welcomes creativity, that celebrates creativity, that welcomes entrepreneurs, and you know, really having a long-term commitment to that."
Forrest says entrepreneurs want to be around other entrepreneurs for support and inspiration, which is precisely what the Coastal Connect conference aims to do.
The Coastal Connect Entrepreneur and Capital Conference will be held on Thursday, September 4th at the Coastline Convention Center. Tickets can be obtained via the express registration page: https://aceweb.uncw.edu/wconnect/CourseStatus.awp?&course=15bcnf0356.