Calling all entrepreneurs! StartUp JC hosts outreach program

Anyone who has an idea brewing, but isn’t sure how to implement it, or where to start, this April event is for you. StartUp Jefferson City will be hosting “Encouraging Entrepreneurs,” an April 26th event designed to bring local aspiring entrepreneurs together with already successful entrepreneurs in the area.

Shaun Sappenfield of the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce said the event will give anyone with a business idea encouragement and the ability to network with people who could provide a great resource in the business process.

The event is in its third year, and will continue the same format as in the past. “It’s been working,” Sappenfield said of the way the events have been run in the past.

Guest speaker Gary Wilbers, executive coach from Ascend Business Strategies, will give participants a taste of what it’s like to be a successful entrepreneur. Sappenfield said Wilbers will be encouraging people to have the drive to succeed, and how one can use that to make it in the business world.

Seven different resource groups will offer free counseling to all event participants, answering questions about real estate, finance, permits, general questions and their overall business plan.

“That’s where people get caught up, in the business plan piece of things,” Sappenfield noted.

“If you have this idea or interest in possibly starting your own business,” why not come out, Sappenfield said.

“Encouraging Entreprenuers” will take place on April 26 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Capital Event Center, 623 Ohio St., and is free to all. The doors open at 8:30 a.m.

In addition to the April event, StartUp JC will conduct two events later in the year. A “practice pitch” event will allow entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch their business idea, receiving feedback in preparation for the final pitch event slated for October.

The “Pitch It and Win It” event will allow participants to compete for prize money. For the second year in a row, Rural Missouri Inc. is partnering with StartUp JC and will provide $5,000 for the winners. Business ideas pitched in the past include a T-shirt design company, online book exchange for college students, and a website to lease land to hunters/farmers.

Resource Groups and Representatives slated to be present at the April 26 event include:

• Attorney – John Landwehr of Cook, Vetter, Doerhoff & Landwehr PC

• Accounting – Judy Brenneke CPA, partner of Bert Doerhoff, CPA, PC

• Human Resource – Stacy Stegeman, AAQ Drug Screening/Human Resource Consultant

• Marketing – Lois Hildebrand, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Marketing at Lincoln University

• Permits – Janice McMillian, Director of Planning & Protective Services Department for Jefferson City

• Planning – Chris Thompson, Business Development Specialist for the University of Missouri – Cole County Extension Office

• Real Estate – Greg Bowman, Bowman Commercial Realty

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