Some of the nation’s most innovative economic developers and ecosystem builders recently gathered for Restart 2020, a three-day virtual event designed to help attendees formulate a strategy for 2021 that includes entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial training as an essential component of job creation and economic recovery.
The event began with a “debate” that compared and contrasted traditional economic development and ecosystem development.
Both traditional economic development and ecosystem building are essential to meeting the needs of recovering and rapidly changing local economies.
“Entrepreneurship is not just a side feature of economic development…”– Victor Hwang
“When you look at the data, entrepreneurship is responsible for most job creation,” said Julie Lenzer, Chief Innovation Officer at the University of Maryland and member of Maryland’s Economic Development Commission. Julie represented traditional economic development in the debate. “Entrepreneurship is crucial to a community’s economic development strategy.”
“Entrepreneurship is not just a side feature of economic development,” said Victor Hwang, co-founder and CEO of Right to Start and former Vice President of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. Victor served as the representative of ecosystem building during the debate. “It’s something that should be front and center. We know almost all job growth comes from new businesses.”
“Entrepreneurship is crucial to a community’s economic development strategy.” – Julie Lenzer
After the debate, the event featured a panel and workshop series with practitioners and entrepreneurs sharing their experience about how economic developers and ecosystem builders can best help businesses and communities grow.
“We were so proud of the content and the attendees of Restart 2020,” said Enoch Elwell, CO.STARTERS CEO. “From beginning to end, this event featured passionate speakers and participants who are excited about incorporating entrepreneurship into their 2021 economic development strategy.”
You can view the video below: