WHEN: August 17, 2023
Join us on August 17th as we take a deep dive into two innovative ways to source founders. We’ll be joined by Theresa Welbourne from The EDGE, Tuscaloosa’s business incubator and accelerator, to talk more on how she’s pioneering the first entrepreneur resource groups, or ERGs, being launched in the state of Alabama.
The entrepreneur resource group model mirrors the industry-proven employee resource group concept, which stretches back to the 1960s. Sometimes called affinity groups, network groups, and business resource groups, these organizational groups have helped significantly improve diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as driving innovation and business growth in the hosting organizations where they are employed. In addition, they positively contribute to the communities where their companies do business. The intention behind using the ERG concept in Alabama incubators is to allow all startups to share ideas and build relationships with a diverse group of individuals, with the goal of sharing in broad-based successes.
We’ll also be hearing from Amanda Poole, VC & Venture Studio Talent at High Alpha Innovation about how they source talent as part of launching companies out of their venture studio. One of their key strengths is that once they have identified a compelling problem and designed a venture-backable business model, they can pair that concept and funding with the ideal founding team suited to build and scale it. When they first started launching companies, they looked to their existing network to find great founders. Their team tapped the most talented builders we worked with at prior ventures whom they knew and trusted.
As their own operations scaled, they needed to figure out how to spot great founders in their ever-growing network, and confidently identify elite founders who may not yet live in their network. They’ve had the benefit of time for their portfolio to mature, and they’ve learned a lot about the attributes of founders who thrived as they grew their organizations, obtaining data points on the traits they had in common.
The EDGE is a partnership with The University of Alabama, the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce and the City of Tuscaloosa.
Resources from all three groups come together to help grow a vibrant ecosystem that supports entrepreneurship, business growth, and personal enterprise.
The Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute is a campus-wide initiative powering the programs that are offered at The EDGE.
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