2015 Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship:
Recipes for Growth
October 6-8, 2015
All entrepreneurs start and operate in a specific community, which means city policies and the local ecosystem matter greatly. The third annual Kauffman Foundation’s Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship: Recipes for Growth, will explore the role of local assets in supporting entrepreneurial activity.
Universities, federal research laboratories, industry-leading firms, startup capital, the built environment, and philanthropy are often considered necessary ingredients for generating innovation and entrepreneurship. Do these ingredients yield new and growing firms in cities? How can these ingredients mix together to create a real recipe for entrepreneurial growth?
Mayors, leading policy experts, and the Kauffman Foundation gathered in Albuquerque, NM, to answer these and other questions about the role of cities and mayors in creating vibrant and innovative entrepreneurial economies.
This year, attending mayors were encouraged to participate in the Recipes for Growth City Challenge. Five selected proposals were presented before a panel of expert judges for a chance to win a $25,000 planning grant from the Kauffman Foundation to assist in the implementation of the proposal.
Two winners were selected at the event:
- City of Knoxville, Tenn. - Mayor Madeline Rogero presented the proposal to increase connectivity between entrepreneurship support organizations and entrepreneurs in Knoxville. The proposal calls for the creation and launch of the Entrepreneur Passport, a user-friendly mobile and web app that links to support resources, and allows support organizations to track entrepreneurs’ needs, progress, and engagement. The app will allow stakeholders to generate technical and analytical reports using searchable data gathered by the app, will help entrepreneurs select the optimal growth path, and will help keep entrepreneurs and support groups connected and accountable for progress.
- City of Louisville, Ky. - Chief Innovation Officer Ted Smith presented the proposal, which aims to leverage entrepreneurship to increase economic opportunities for minorities and underserved populations in Louisville. The planning grant will allow Louisville to assemble entrepreneur mentors and develop a range of startup concepts to expand its Summer Up business startup program. Part of a summer jobs effort for people younger than 18 who live in poverty and have not been employed, the program began with seven African-American youth who started a business during a ten-week summer experience. The proposal calls for expanding the program to ten youth startups, leveraging existing entrepreneur support organizations to help identify mentors,