The business conference for creative entrepreneurs works to foster a sense of community this weekend at NOMA.
What: A two-day conference for entrepreneurs in creative industries
When: Saturday, September 30 and Sunday, October 1
Where: New Orleans Museum of Art
Why: The conference works to foster community for New Orleans’ entrepreneurs working by themselves in small businesses, often from home. Many accelerator programs first address entrepreneurs whose businesses are scalable; VenturePop! tries to reach those whose businesses aren’t.
Cierra Holzenthal and Kristy Oustalet started VenturePop! two years ago, tired of having to go to conferences out of town to find accelerator-like business conferences that made sense for them. “It’s like-minded people getting together, learning some new business skills, and hitting that reset button that you need to take a step further and get that fire happening again,” Oustalet says.
Speakers on the weekend include a mix of national and local entrepreneurs, but for Holzenthal and Oustalet, the emphasis is on the community. Because of that, the number participants is kept manageable, so that by the end of the weekend, people will know each other. “When you spend your entire time with this small-ish group of people, you feel like this group,” Oustalet says. There will also be workshops that will designed to encourage participants to actually do something more than write up a To Do list for when they get home—something they might but might not actually do. VenturePop! has also rented the courtyard to help further the sense of community as people will have a place to hang out and talk with each other between sessions.
“It’s all around learning, getting inspired, and being with each other,” Oustalet says.
To help participants take VenturePop! back to their lives and businesses after the conference, Holzenthal and Oustalet will introduce “Weekly Workflow” from the stage. “We’ve curated a list of 52 weeks, and one small task that you can do in an hour to work on your business,” Oustalet says. “We’ll all do it together, and we’ll have a private Facebook page where people can talk about it. It’s our way of keeping in touch with people throughout the year.”