It’s easy to overlook or just not know about our entrepreneurial ecosystem. Maybe it’s because we’re spread out across great distances, or maybe it’s because the louder narrative about the economy lately has been a pessimistic one. And yet, there exists a vibrant community of people committed to making a difference for our state, whether through launching a company or providing resources to entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs.
Not long ago, if you spoke to me about a “sprint,” I would have assumed we were talking about your fitness routine. Not so anymore, as entrepreneurial sprints have taken off (“sprinted,” if you will?) in Alaska. Between OTIS, Growspace, the University of Alaska President’s Innovation Challenge, and now VOLT49, innovative Alaskans seem to have an appetite for sprinting.
For the last few months, the CED team has had energy on our minds. Between the excellent Rural Energy Conference last week, the release of the Renewable Energy Emerging Sector report, and the VOLT49 Showcase this week, it's a subject we can't avoid.
Nine months ago we were drinking coffee while discussing about how our state economy is changing and lamenting that no one had spent time exploring emerging industries with growth potential. And then we realized - why not us? We teamed up with the Division of Economic Development to conduct a series of reports, each profiling an emerging sector.