"A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage."
– Presidential campaign slogan attributed to Herbert Hoover
Allen J. Fuller, III asked me via Twitter, "You have talked about regional development in the past. What would the NRV [New River Valley of Virginia] look like if your vision were realized?"
Yes, I certainly have talked about regional economic development. A vision of the awesome power of social media to contribute to a regional economic revolution is fundamental to Handshake 2.0's business model. We walk the talk of economic development through social media and Regional Economic Development on Handshake 2.0 certainly has its own category on the site.
If realized, what would regional economic development look like to me?
An entrepreneur in every garage.
Or in every basement, coffee shop, dorm room, home office, bedroom or established corporation – wherever computer power and tools and materials could exist for a creative mind to invent. And then for that mind to think, "This could be a business."
That's part of my vision. It's only part because of this:
“When I started my company, I had to find my own mentors and scrape together capital in an ad hoc manner – and also do all the work required to make the enterprise succeed operationally. I’m excited about helping the next generation of entrepreneurs by systematizing those critical tasks. And Blacksburg [Virginia] is a great place to live and work.”
– Pat Matthews, DayOne Ventures Mentor
That's a hard way to go. For my vision, which is impatient, I want new companies now, funded now. That can happen when a culture of entrepreneurship is born of consciousness rather than opportunism.
I see our region creating a culture in which entrepreneurs are valued as individuals, as creators and inventors, as potential world-changers and as potential generators of profits, enriching their companies, their investors, and their communities.
Just look at these recent entrepreneurship launches, some within the past few days:
- Access to Capital, NewVa Corridor Technology Council, NCTC
- VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Summit – In its second year, designed to bring together entrepreneurs and the partners and investors they need to succeed.
- DayOne Ventures
Allen, thank you for asking about my vision for regional economic development in the New River Valley of Virginia. It's already taking shape.
BTW, Allen, are you an entrepreneur? Got a garage? Around here, it's a good time to be an entrepreneur.
Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0, is part of the culture of entrepreneurship through membership in business acceleration center VT KnowledgeWorks. VT KnowledgeWorks is a client of Handshake Media.