Groundwork! was jamming last night with 150+ attendees who gathered to celebrate and learn about initiatives that support entrepreneurs in the South Coast region. It was exciting and humbling to run elbows with the movers and shakers of our community: old friends, new faces, and fancy government officials. The event was keynoted by Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, who also had a few things to say on Twitter:
— Jay Ash (@JayAshEOHED) September 24, 2015
So what was the excitement all about? We were celebrating the South Coast launch of EforAll, a non-profit that supports entrepreneurs by holding pitch contests and running an accelerator program. EforAll will be operating at Groundwork! as their New Bedford base, and will also have a base in Fall River.
EforAll CEO David Parker says that he’s never seen a community of entrepreneurs so willing and excited to collaborate with each other quite like ours. The living proof of this collaborative spirit is the SoCoLAUNCH! meetup, an online group we use to promote our events and support each other’s initiatives.
I have no doubt that without the collaborative nature of SoCoLAUNCH! and our partners promoting this event to their networks, we never would have filled our space with so many prominent community members. Working together is powerful, folks!
IoT Comes to New Bedford
Adding to the excitement of EforAll and SoCoLAUNCH!, Groundwork! member Chris Rezendes announced the INEX IoT IMPACT LAB, located in downtown New Bedford, which will focus on the development and deployment of solutions to real world problems using the Internet of Things (IoT). IMPACT LAB is supported by a formidable list of sponsors and will transform New Bedford into an IoT hub.
The evening concluded with words from New Bedford’s Mayor Mitchell, Secretary Ash, and Factory Five founder Dave Smith. It was exciting and humbling to see such a lineup of speakers at our first ever public event.
But surely this is just a sign of greatness to come. Although digital tools (email, Eventbrite, social media, meetup.com) were key in making this event happen, I think that the physical space of Groundwork! was the magic sauce. After all, SoCoLAUNCH! started out as a casual conversation with a couple of Groundwork! members, and it is doing more than we ever hoped.
Here’s to the good things to come! Stay tuned…