'Choose your own adventure' at Accelerate Alaska
This week, hundreds of entrepreneurs, politicians, business owners and community leaders will flock to the Loussac Library for Accelerate Alaska — a two-day conference highlighting Alaska’s competitive advantages, industries and systems.
Ross Johnston, founder of Accelerate Alaska, was tired of hearing who should be fixing the government or providing jobs for people when there are plenty of able Alaskans who can contribute to a more robust economy all on their own.
“As Alaskans, we are industrious and entrepreneurial and we need to remember that,” Johnston said.
Accelerate Alaska aims to shift people’s mindsets about the opportunities in the state and what Alaskans can do to leverage them. Health care, resource development, food systems, rural opportunities, winter tourism, education, exporting and investments will all be on the schedule of topics attendees can explore. These sectors are opportunities that can provide jobs and create a strong economy, which will create the community that people will want to be part of.
“[Accelerate Alaska] is very much choose your own adventure,” Johnston said.
This year’s keynote speakers include Brad Feld — a popular figure in the venture capitalist and startup community known for his blueprint for creating entrepreneurial economies, the “Boulder Thesis,” — and Bala Kamallakharan — who read Feld’s thesis and applied it to Iceland’s financial collapse in 2008. Today, Iceland’s economy is booming, especially when relating to tourism, biotechnology and software production.
Last year was the first year holding the conference, and Johnston says it was a sprint. The entire conference came together in just under four months. He says his takeaway applies to every other entrepreneur out there.
“Your idea, your business, whatever you’re trying to get done, it’s about spreading your belief and working with the people that either want to believe in your idea or believe in you,” Johnston said.
Accelerate Alaska will take place Sept. 19-20 at the Loussac Library. You can purchase tickets here.