None of us knew what to expect.
Definitely not 9.6 and a 9.7.
But that’s how people rated the two days of EntreCon, which was held at the Rex Theater in downtown Pensacola in early November.
EntreCon, sponsored by the Studer Community Institute and the University of West Florida’s new Center for Entrepreneurship, featured 45 speakers and panelists who shared strategies for starting and growing a business. At the end of the conference, we asked people for feedback and to rate the event on a scale of 1 to 10.
“I would like to thank you for such an amazing event,” wrote Julie Thoms. “Not only did EntreCon provide great insight and inspiration for entrepreneurial vision, it also gave clear direction on how to upset the status quo. Thanks again for knocking this event out of the park.”
Bill Sheffield of Bill Sheffield Realty wrote: “I arrived in Pensacola in 1993. In all that time there has never been anything like Entrecon. There have been some sales trainers in for a day. But never anything that matched the needs of the small business community like Entrecon.”
Luke Street of Our Gulf Coast Properties, wrote:
“I think the Studer Institute and other sponsors did a fantastic job with this experience and I hope it becomes an annual event. I’ve heard Mr. Studer speak on several other occasions, and true to his word, I always walk away with at least one piece of advice to improve my business.”
“All speakers did a wonderful job executing a clear message and opening your mind to new aspects of business,” said Whitney Vaillancourt. “Mr. Dieveney, Mr. McHale and Mr. Studer were by far my favorites! I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Entrecon and look forward to attending next year.”
To date, nearly 1,200 people have attended the Institute’s training, which has ranged from strategic planning to customer service to EntreCon.
Rachael Gillette, the Institute’s director of professional development, has been surveying people to see what types of training the community would like to attend in 2016. A preview of the 2016 training calendar will be released in the next few weeks.
EntreCon is definitely on that calendar and was the first event that the Institute and UWF’s new Center for Entrepreneurship partnered on together. The center is a new initiative of UWF’s College of Business that will serve as a comprehensive resource for economic innovation for students, industry and the community.
Earlier this year Quint and Rishy Studer donated $1 million to the university to seed the Center for Entrepreneurship.
“We want to encourage entrepreneurial thinking throughout the community,” said Quint Studer, who will be the Center’s Entrepreneur in Residence. “We are trying to create a program that will support the whole lifespan of an entrepreneur. I would love to see Pensacola become the next Austin.”