Resources exists for region’s entrepreneurs

Print Article

A couple of weeks ago the Bonner County Economic Development Corp. gathered local business and community leaders for a summit at the University of Idahoís beautiful Organic Agriculture Center in Sandpoint. I was invited to present as a panelist on entrepreneurship, but really all the topics being discussed were of great interest. Our region is in a growth cycle, and while we all want the area to grow, we care a lot about how that growth happens, because we know what makes our area wonderful is a delicate balance and there are long-term effects of decisions being made today.

Workforce development and housing solutions were topics with lively discussions and full rooms. Marc Brinkmeyer, chairman of the Idaho Forest Group, offered an impressive review of how high tech is being applied to the forestry business in a big way, and also how they focus on taking care of their employees as the company grows. IFG is doing such incredible things both domestically and globally, there wasnít enough time to see it all; Mr. Brinkmeyer absolutely inspired the room.

Living in a small rural town in Idaho has loads of benefits, but it also means we are far from the energy of a larger metro area, and we often feel far from the resources. What I shared, as a participant and witness to 20 years of innovation and entrepreneurship, was only a handful of thoughts: 1) Do what you know. 2) Be self-aware enough to understand if you have what it takes to move from innovation to operations (where many new ventures die on the vine) and plan accordingly. 3) Do something that doesnít rely only on the local market; use technology to seek out other markets for your product or service. 4) There is no substitute for hard work. I canít reiterate this last point enough. For every example of successful business in our area, whether IFG, Litehouse Foods, Kochava (and myriad others), there are dedicated hard workers behind it who make things happen day in and day out.

I left this event with a renewed gratitude for the amazing people doing good in our community, and this predominant impression: Our business environment is fertile for innovation and entrepreneurship. From Ryan Arnold, Regional Entrepreneurial Strategy at NIC, I learned about the North Idaho College facility in Coeur díAlene that has the equipment to prototype just about anything you can think of. From Aaron McMurray, CSO at Innovia Foundation, I heard incredible passion around resources to protect and support the type of flourishing we want to see in our community. From Wally Jacobson of the Panhandle Area Council and Racheal McDonough from MoFi, I learned about financing options for innovators and small businesses in our area. Heck, it made ME want to go start a new business!

If you are an innovator or entrepreneur in Bonner County and you have an idea, get out there and avail yourself of the resources at your disposal. If you are onto something, youíll find a crowd of supporters eager to help you get it off the ground.

Kimberly Manning is the senior director of brand at Kochava, a Sandpoint-based company that provides attribution, analytics and optimization to mobile advertisers.

Print Article

Read More Editorial

The City Beach land swap makes sense

November 21, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee A draft of the Cityís Parks and Recreation Master Plan is underway and draft concepts for four city park areas have been out for public feedback over the past month. The community-driven planning pro...

Comments

Read More

Resources exists for regionís entrepreneurs

November 19, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee A couple of weeks ago the Bonner County Economic Development Corp. gathered local business and community leaders for a summit at the University of Idahoís beautiful Organic Agriculture Center in Sand...

Comments

Read More

Clean external audit report for LPOSD and Update on Accountability

October 27, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee As we approach Nov. 5, Election Day, it is timely for me to share with you the financial accountability report presented at the Oct. 22 school board meeting by the lead external auditor from Magnuson...

Comments

Read More

We are united by our community, values

October 17, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee Sandpoint is a community characterized by engaged citizenship. With over 300 registered non-profits, ours is a community of people who care. This is something to be proud of and celebrate. We are a c...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2019 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X