Entrepreneurs are wanted: InnoVenture 2010

There is something about walking through the halls of innovation. Feeling the overwhelming assurance of our ability to innovate, generate ideas, connect with like minded people, and push forward. There is something refreshing, moving from one hand shake to the next, from one introduction to another, and feeling the sense that connections can help us conquer the possible impossibilities.

This is the “pipeline of game changing opportunities.” John Warner has brought us together, empowered our intellect, inspired our creativity, and provided the platform to “connect together in our enlightened self-interest.”

Why is it that we strive to go attend a two-day event, one that has evolved each year….what are we in search of? Hmm…could it be that we are entrepreneurs at heart? We want more than the status quo, we want to find people that can not only help us solve the problems that seek to understand, but meet people and share. It all starts with a handshake.

As we looked around, we found ourselves in a sea of possibilities, and the room was filled with a sea of problem solvers, seekers, ad diverse set of individuals looking for what we are looking for: the common ground that binds us together…innovation.

Where else can you find a room filled with over 500 people listening to a revolving door of entrepreneurs, big business, big ideas, angel investors, people with solutions, people looking for solutions…a sea of opportunity. Where else can you find more human connection happening faster than the transactions in the Blue Cross Blue Shield server farm. Whether if it was an entrepreneur, a big box business, or someone offering a solution…the isles between the chairs were like the sea waters being split providing an angelic pathway from the crowd to the presenter…connecting diverse groups, talking innovation and collaboration.

I want to be a part of this..yes. I want to take my idea to the next level. I want the assurance that it is possible to find someone to help me develop a plan, guide me to funding, inspire me to keep pushing, ground me in the reality, and cheer with me during my successes. Then, I want to be a part of a place similar to Plato’s Republic…a place of sharing, sharing ideas, sharing knowledge, building our knowledge economy.

Where else can you listen to a wireless information provider talk about distributing video to devices and immediately be followed by a appliance provider thinking about the possibility of having video content provided on the face of a refrigerator. Then, both sitting down side-by-side and having a conversation. WOW!

Where else can I be empowered by the COO of Michelin Americas Research Company to think big about the possibility of reducing friction between the tire and the road for energy efficiency; only after being empowered by a lawyer talking about bringing one of the biggest airliner manufactures into our knowledge economy of South Carolina. Where else can I here from someone who wants to help entrepreneurs connect with Angel Investors right after someone seeking new ideas to present to automakers in Detroit.

It is possible! It is in our DNA! It is in our language. We can do it…we can create this knowledge economy right here in South Carolina and become the poster child for open innovation…globally.

Where else can I have a few brews right beside one the greatest examples of open innovation, bringing the academy and private sector together under a common vision. How inspiring is it to see each person clap and cheer a deserving award, knowing we felt a little closer to those around us because we wanted; hoped one day to be honored by that very award just named. It is like a new fraternity was formed, a fraternity of innovators…we know that feeling, that dream, that reality that we can almost touch.

Thank you John Warner, thank you for connecting us, inspiring us, and creating a language of innovation right here. ┬áThe future is right here…among us. Like Dave Bodde said,”Entrepreneurs are wanted!” We are all entrepreneurs…open innovation is fun. The sea of open innovators is right here. Just like Dan Wooster said…”We are story shapers.”