Our Greatest Ability

November 14, 2011

Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.
John Wooden

Our greatest asset remains our talented people–in particular our young kids. However, our greatest ability is the ability to act entrepreneurially. That is, our unique ability to invent, improve, and scale products and services, thus creating meaningful work for people and generating wealth that can vastly improve the quality of our lives and living environment.

According to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, this week is Global Entrepreneurship Week 2011. This is “the world’s largest celebration of entrepreneurship, and will feature millions of people participating in thousands of events in more than 100 countries and all 50 United States. Events will be held to celebrate innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity.”

This past week I was able to attend Ernst & Young’s Strategic Growth Conference in California. Over a thousand of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. were there to learn from each other and the exceptional line of speakers that were present, including great entrepreneurs like Michael Dell. Michael Dell exemplifies the spirit of an entrepreneur stating that if starting over with a million dollars – he would NOT invest it – but rather he would start a business and employ people and resources to scale it. But wait – he claims he would likely start something focused on selling to China and perhaps even set the business up in that country. Given China’s market size and potential it is understandable, and serves as a great reminder that we have competition.

Another example of this competition for our entrepreneurial talent is Start-Up Chile – a country that is willing to pay $40k to global thinking entrepreneurs to set up a business and stay for only 6 months!

Steve Case, founder of AOL, and Chairman of the Startup America Partnership, an independent entity started to promote entrepreneurship and advise the White House on how to improve the conditions for starting and scaling businesses within the United States, was also a speaker at the conference. He implored the company founders and expert entrepreneurs present to mentor others and to stand up for a national agenda that would promote growth in high-growth companies.

This week our Columbus2020! team will meet with our Create Committee, a group focused on the section of our plan that promotes the creation and scaling of high-growth companies. We will be discussing our 2012 plan of work and debating ideas that could help Columbus become a center of entrepreneurial activity.

Our team will also be in Germany for one week meeting with growing companies seeking entry into the US market, attending the Medica show with our partners at BIOOHIO. There is much follow up to do from our visits this past week in California, and week look forward to seeing our investors at our December 2nd update. If you would like to become an investor in our effort please send Beth Harrington, VP of Membership, bh@columbusregion.com a short inquiry.