Meet the contributors: Engaging in Alaska's entrepreneurial ecosystem

Top left: Penny Gage; top right: Nigel Sharp; bottom left: Ross Johnston; bottom right; Tasha Webster.

Top left: Penny Gage; top right: Nigel Sharp; bottom left: Ross Johnston; bottom right; Tasha Webster.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve introduced some of the contributors that make Alaska Startups possible. This week, we want to know how Alaskans can engage in Alaska’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Penny Gage: “I would tell folks to just start reaching out, attending events, chatting with local small business owners you admire... Google is your friend! Subscribe to Alaska Startup Digest email updates, go to any event that has "business" or "entrepreneur" in the title. These small connections will lead to ideas, inspiration and support. Check out resources on Facebook and online, as well. In a state that has such spread-out communities, these are often where some of the foundational resources ‘live.’ And if no one is hosting the types of events that you want to see, step up and do it yourself!”

Peter Webley: “Encourage entrepreneurs to engage in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Come along to an event, like a Startup Weekend or Innovation Competition and get involved. Connect to a university program and reach out. Who knows where it might take you.”

Ross Johnston: “Depends on where they are in their stage of development. Every Wantrepreneur should do a Start-up Weekend or Sprint. Everyone should attend Accelerate: Alaska.”

Gretchen Fauske: “Subscribe to the Alaska Startups newsletter, follow the Facebook page and Instagram account, join the Facebook group, and spend some time immersing yourself in Alaska Startups. Start attending events (you can find a good roundup in the Alaska Startup Digest) and meeting people! A great way to engage is participating in Alaska Startup Week, which is November 18-24, 2019. This community is welcoming and generous, and ascribes to the concept of #givefirst.”

Tasha Webster: “I would encourage entrepreneurs here to simply show up and to challenge themselves to attend events and conferences outside of their typical social circles.”

Nigel Sharp: “#Givefirst, it's a simple concept with a huge amount of power. Don't be so entitled to believe the ecosystem needs to support you or provide you with resources, we all get entrepreneurship is hard, instead approach every conversation and handshake as a potential business partner for your current or future enterprise and make sure you lead and #givefirst by offering your help, skills, network and resources.”

Ky Holland: “There are multiple entrepreneurial ecosystems in Alaska, even in Anchorage, but the underlying message of involvement follows the advice of Brad Feld from Boulder Colorado... get involved and help lead the ecosystem so it's offering what you need, and give first to the ecosystem. What is unique about entrepreneurs is they are afraid to go out and create what does not exist yet. #BuildTheAlaskaYouWant is a mantra developed by Joe Morrison while helping lead Launch Alaska... it applies more today than ever.”