BrewFest event highlights Oklahoma entrepreneurship
By Scott Meacham
Copyright © 2016, The Oklahoma Publishing Company
In entrepreneurship, we strive not to reinvent the wheel, so when we see a “best practice” that works, we pick it up, adapt it and put it to work in our own situation.
Such is the case with the 2016 OKBio BrewFest, 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 10 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Since the original Bavarian Oktoberfest, which was held in Munich in 1810 as a five-day royal wedding celebration, fall beer festivals are popular around the world, from Brazil to Tasmania. BrewFest does it one better — featuring libations from not only many of the state’s most popular breweries, but products from Oklahoma wineries and distilleries as well.
BrewFest, sponsored by Crowe & Dunlevy, the Greater OKC Chamber, and i2E, attracts more than 500 people. It’s a unique opportunity for the entrepreneurial community in Oklahoma to come together for a few hours to network and enjoy tasting products from yet another emerging and nontraditional segment of Oklahoma’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Most net job creation over the last 25 or so years comes from businesses that are less than five years old. More than 7 million of the 11 million jobs created during the recovery from the Great Recession were generated by small enterprises and startups.
Huge impact comes from the high-growth firms in industries of IT, advanced manufacturing and biotech companies, like WeGoLook, Spiers New Technologies, or Biolytx Pharmaceuticals Corp. But there is also a significant collective impact drive by new Main Street companies; the local Oklahoma breweries, wineries and distilleries featured at BrewFest are great nontraditional examples of these.
Events like BrewFest and the Entrepreneurial Summit last month draw together people from across Oklahoma who are interested in the innovation economy here. People come. They talk. In this casual environment of conversations, they learn things they didn’t know about making wine, brewing beer and about what’s happening in innovation across Oklahoma.
Entrepreneurship touches the lives of every Oklahoman. Whether we live in a condo or on a farm, we all have a vested interest in understanding the impact of new business on our state. There many opportunities for each of us to connect and move forward Oklahoma’s innovation economy.
An easy way is to buy a ticket to BrewFest online. Once you are there, make it a point to meet the folks behind the libation you like. Talk to the person next to you. Find out how they are connected to the entrepreneurial economy. A company founder? A researcher or scientist? A customer?
Then think about how you are connected to the entrepreneurial company. Is there more you could do to support new company success in our state? Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my ideas.
Did You Know:
In the first six months of Regulation Crowdfunding, wine and spirits and food and beverage are two of the top five sectors by offerings and by capital committed.
SOURCE: CCA Regulation Crowdfunding Indices
Read the story at The Oklahoman. (Requires subscription)
Scott Meacham is president and CEO of i2E Inc., a nonprofit corporation that mentors many of the state’s technology-based startup companies. i2E receives state appropriations from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology and is an integral part of Oklahoma’s Innovation Model. Email Meacham at i2E_Comments@i2E.org.