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Startup Week: Sharing the entrepreneurial experience in Alaska

Monday marks the beginning of the sixth annual Alaska Startup Week. Every year, this week of exciting events brings current and future business owners, local leaders and friends together to highlight and build momentum around Alaska’s entrepreneurial opportunities.

This year, eight Alaskan communities (supported by Fairbanks Economic Development, UAF’s Center ICE program, and many more local and statewide partners) have organized a week of events to showcase the brightest business minds, their ideas and innovation in Alaska. Yep, Monday, Nov. 8, through Friday, Nov. 12, Fairbanks will be full of entrepreneurship, innovation and fun — so tap into your own entrepreneurial spirit, seize the opportunities and join in.

In Fairbanks, 13 events are being hosted by local organizations throughout the week. There will be no shortage of interesting topics, with events on new innovative discoveries, design thinking, what are “makerspaces”, customer discovery, business open houses and more.

For its part, Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation will be hosting three events during the week.

At noon Tuesday, Nov. 9, FEDC will be holding an in-person event at the Noel Wein Library focusing on where and how to collect the funds to start a business. With a quick trip to the library you’ll be connected to Fairbanks’ best resources when it comes to where to go and what to do when, in thinking about starting your own business, your mind turns to the question of “but how do I pay for it?”

On Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 11 a.m., you’ll be given a virtual walkthrough of a few of Fairbanks’s most popular food and beverage businesses. The event will show pre-recorded videos created by your community businesses with the chance to ask questions at the end, and it will be open to anyone and everyone online. Tune in on Zoom to get an inside look at some of your favorite Fairbanks businesses.

And at noon Thursday, Nov. 11, Web907 and FEDC are teaming up again to provide an overview of “digital presence.” Digital presence is how businesses represent themselves online — something that is becoming more and more essential with each passing year. Like the previous event, this will be another virtual event where attendees can ask questions and learn how they can improve their business’s online impact — but do so from the comfort of their own home or their office over the lunch-hour.

Don’t see what you’re looking for in the Fairbanks events? That’s alright: most of the Alaska Startup Week events occurring across the state are being held virtually, so you can drop in on discussions happening from Juneau to Kodiak and anywhere in between. And there are some very exciting events happening around the state, like “Food Industry 101: How to Start and Grow Your Business,” “Alaska Manufacturing: What’s Working and What’s Next?,” “E-commerce Meetup — Strategies, Collaborations, Lessons Learned”, and tons more events on many more topics.

Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, there’s an event for pretty much everyone this week — from legal basics to the gig economy, to patents, to pitching, to Intuit Quickbooks.

Reading this, you might be thinking, “But what if I’m not an entrepreneur, investor or business owner?” That’s fine, too; a lot of people aren’t and you’re still encouraged to join us and sign up for a few events. Startup Week is all about sharing the entrepreneurial experience in Alaska. If that interests you at all, then there is sure to be something in the week’s offerings that sparks your interest.

You can find the full Alaska Startup Week Schedule at the website alaska.startupweek.co.

Come celebrate with us — your local and statewide organizations, business community and fellow entrepreneurs. With events happening at almost every hour of every day, you can dip your toes into the Startup Weekend waters and attend one or a few events, or you can put aside your weekly responsibilities and dive into the full schedule of it. And, as this year’s Alaska Startup Week happens to coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week (which features 39,000 events around the world), the sky’s not even the limit of the education, insights and experiences to be gained.

Alaska Startup Week is made possible by dozens of volunteers and sponsors from around the state all here to celebrate the innovation happening here in Alaska and eager to support you in your pursuit of those entrepreneurial dreams.

Log in, pop in and tap in to 2021’s statewide events and celebrations. It’s going to be a blast.

Evan Wilken is a project manager with the Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation.

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