Friday, March 06, 2009

RISE Austin 2009 - HUGE SUCCESS!!!

In its third year, RISE Austin had 122 presentations and over 1600 attendees participate in the four day event.

The Relationship & Information Series for Entrepreneurs began in 2007. Founded by Roy and Bertrand Sosa with the purpose of providing a free forum for entrepreneurs to connect and exchange ideas that inspire the entrepreneurial spirit.

Program Manager, Annie Clary Frierson, did a GREAT job of coordinating the whole week. It took a lot of dedication over many, many month to pull off the logistics of so many presentations and attendees. Nearly twice as many people attended as did in 2008.

RISE 2009 concluded with a happy hour event at The Bob Bullock Texas State Museum. Keynote speaker, John Mackey (Founder and CEO of Whole Foods) inspired the audience with his overview of how "Conscious Capitalism" would be the engine that would raise world economy.

"Great companies have great purposes", said Mackay, who counseled entrepreneurs to practice "Servant Leadership" while defining the purpose of their businesses.

I had never seen Mackay speak before, and I was inspired by his story, message, style, tone, passion and the emotional challenge to the room full of entrepreneurs to positively impact the world.

While his remarks lasted too long (by about 20 minutes), the significance of his viewpoint was not lost on the crowd. He is insightful in his belief that businesses are not locked into the negatives actions of "Wall Street Capitalism", and that the answer to our economic woes are not to be found in socialism or fascism. Instead our future is in the hands of "Conscious Capitalists" who will build businesses that provide both profits and make a difference.

I look forward to presenting at and attending RISE 2010. This program is a true Austin gem.

Have A Great Day.


1 comment:

JF said...

As perhaps the only presented (session host) from San Antonio, I have a couple of comments.

Annie and the RISE staff did a great job. As she knows, I was a bit frustrated last Friday when I only had 9 registrants for my session, but that became 22 at the time of the event.

While it is held in Austin, it is probably time for the widening of the horizons and mindset of Austinites to recognize San Antonio and San Marcos as places where technology companies and technology entrepreneurs thrive. I would gladly participate in RISE next year.

One possible improvement, however, could be the limiting of the number of simultaneous events/sessions. What do I mean by this? I believe that I was the first to "claim" my time slot on Tuesday. By the time it was all over, there were 10+ sessions in the same slot. Maybe, since it is a first come, first serve basis, there should be a limit to the number of presentation sessions held in the same time slot (maybe 8). Doing that does two things. First it makes it easier for attendees to find a session that they want to attend instead of having to chhose from among multiple sessions that they might want to go to. Second, it gives those session hosts/presenters who sprang to the opportunity and "claimed" a day/time slot the benefit of perhaps a better attended session. I'd rather present to a filled room than one where there are empty seats.

Just my "nickle" of thoughts.