Q & A with Enoch Elwell

Why is CO.STARTERS doing retreats this year instead of the normal Summit?

After going to countless conferences and summits over the years, I’ve found that the most lasting value from these events is the relationships formed with fellow attendees. The things that stick with me are the conversations in the hallways between sessions or in the evening after the formal schedule has ended. While keynotes and workshops can be very valuable, getting to know like-minded peers with a common purpose provides the most ongoing benefit. Rather than a shot of excitement that is quickly forgotten, true friendships develop, resulting in an ongoing support network of people who are there when you need them. In shifting to a retreat-based model, we hope to create an event experience that promotes relationships over content.

How will the retreat be different from past events?

This retreat will not have any formal “speaking” times. Instead, you’ll have opportunities to spend time with peers exploring the Birmingham or Dunedin entrepreneurial community, to discuss topics of interest through facilitated conversations, and to work together to develop solutions to the problems we face in supporting our communities.

Who will be there?

We expect a mix of community leaders. Some, but not all, currently offer programs supported by CO.STARTERS. What we all have in common is that we want to create a supportive collaborative environment for starters of all kinds. If you want to help people and communities thrive through entrepreneurship, this event is for you.

Why Birmingham and Dunedin?

There are so many communities around the world doing great work that should be highlighted! Although we look forward to retreats in many other cities in years to come, leaders in Birmingham and Dunedin were the first to volunteer to co-host these events this year. Our partners in both cities are great examples of thoughtful community engagement done well. We can’t wait for you to see how things are going first-hand! (And, if you would like to host a future retreat in your city, please let us know!)

We are particularly excited about offering a retreat in New Zealand, as it marks the growing community of starters in both New Zealand and Australia. This retreat will be an opportunity for community leaders on the other side of the globe to establish a collaborative support network on a more local scale.

What should attendees expect to get out of the retreat?

Rest. Refreshment. Friends and encouragement. Renewed excitement and purpose. Exposure to new tools, tactics, and perspectives. Time to reflect, process, reevaluate priorities and goals. Support. I always look forward to these special opportunities to gather with like-minded friends. We are all doing really important work in transforming our communities, and I hope that in some way this event will encourage, reinvigorate, and celebrate you in a meaningful way!

Interested in attending one of our retreats? Go here for more information and to register.