Mike Sobol has been growing businesses of all kinds, everything from SEO to dog training, for close to 20 years. Together with Jess Knox and Elizabeth Buckley (local startup/venture legends in their own right), he recently launched Venture Hall, a new educational nonprofit in Maine. It’s built on the premise that no one owns the best ideas.
Here’s the concept: the power to innovate and create rapid, large-scale change is not a magical quality of the chosen few. It’s a process that can be taught and applied by anyone, anywhere, in any business.
After interviewing Mike, I believe it.
Venture Hall views their job as expanding the ‘geography of opportunity’ to ensure more people can access the training, funding and support they need to create exciting new innovations, whether they work within a “startup” or not.
In addition to their first startup accelerator program this summer (developed in close partnership with major health care and insurance players MaineHealth and Unum), Mike, Jess and Elizabeth are building more mechanisms to grow our Maine innovation ecosystem. That includes local startup support programs, more corporate partnerships, and a code school geared toward adults who are considering a career in software development.
The podcast (although it turned into something more) was planned in order to promote Venture Hall’s upcoming Demo Day. Demo Day is not a pitch contest. It’s actually a chance to see the technology that the four startups currently in residence at Venture Hall are developing. Demonstrated live in person, possibly on you. You’ll see amazing tech at work, and think, how in the heck did they do that? Then, you’ll get to see that question answered. That’s the plan. Helping people with big ideas, like you, know where and how to start (I think you know the when part).
Plus, a keynote by Silicon Valley venture capital legend Dave Roux and a mixer afterwards. Friday September 8, 3PM. Free tickets here.
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