Full House for Entrepreneurial Conference

Release Date: 



John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org, or Elisha Smith, elishas@cfra.org,
Columbus, NE – Over 550 people are in attendance today for the Center for Rural Affair’s second annual entrepreneurial conference, MarketPlace: Opening Doors to Success. The conference is taking place at the New World Inn located in Columbus, Nebraska.
“The great turnout for MarketPlace today shows us that rural people are resourceful and are looking for ways to create a better future in their small businesses and rural communities,” said Brian Depew, Rural Organizing and Outreach Program Director for the Center for Rural Affairs. “We are excited to have brought this diverse group of people together, and are looking forward to learning from one another about new ways of overcoming the challenges that we face in our rural communities.”

Chuck Hassebrook, Center for Rural Affairs Executive Director, opened the day with a welcoming speech. Kipp Kreutzberg gave the opening keynote, addressing "The Top Ten Things Learned along the Way as a Professional Marketer/Entrepreneur." Kreutzberg is the Senior Director with Theravance, Inc, in San Francisco where he is a pharmaceutical commercial executive. Kreutzberg has extensive knowledge in product positioning, branding, advertising, promotion and labeling from his work in the pharmaceutical industry. He will also be presenting the session "Branding Your Product or Service."

Throughout the day teach-ins will be in session in the Magellan, Discovery, Santa Maria, Seven Seas, Pinta, and Nina conference rooms. There are over 28 training opportunities in 7 tracks including; business development, technology, financing, community, marketing, agriculture and Hispanic (with sessions available in Spanish).

The University of Nebraska Extension's BIT Mobile, a traveling hands-on computer lab, is the setting for the technology sessions (heated, fully-equipped and parked right outside the Pirate's Den at the North entrance).

Over 50 exhibition booths are set up in the indoor courtyard and Arawak, Cabot, and Drake conference rooms. These booths are filled with successful small businesses, service providers, and other conference sponsors. Attendees can meet with Experts in many fields – attorneys, CPA’s, web designers, etc. – who are available throughout the day to answer participant questions.
Attendees and guests can visit the MarketPlace store located in the Carter room, which features Nebraska made products and goodies.

“MarketPlace has been such a success, not just in drawing participants, but in creating connections and sharing information that people from across rural Nebraska can use to address the challenges they face in creating a better future for their community.  The Center looks forward to hosting this event again next year in North Platte,” concluded Depew.

For those that were not able to attend, you can find out more about what happened at MarketPlace (and about next year’s event) by visiting http://www.cfra.org/marketplace/home.

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