We can’t wait to bring together our incredible community of small business owners, state and local leaders, and aspiring entrepreneurs once again.
Are you still figuring out whether you have time to attend? Here’s the deal: you really can’t miss this year’s Summit. The opportunities to network, learn, and advance your business are just too valuable.
Here are our top 4 reasons why you need to register for the 2022 SOAR Summit.
Once you’re ready, you can save your spot here.
Reason #1: Networking with other small business owners
Networking — either you love it, or you don’t. Regardless of how you feel about networking, it’s an essential activity for any growing business.
What are the benefits of networking for entrepreneurs?
- Gain visibility: Help the community learn about your business and connect with who’s running it behind the scenes.
- Earn new referrals: Making great connections at a networking event can bring in new customers and increase word of mouth about your business.
- Test ideas and messaging: Try out new messaging or product concepts on a small group of people that align with your target market. Gauge their response to see if you’re on the right track, and hear their feedback if they’re willing to offer it.
- Seek partnership opportunities: Meeting other business owners and community partners could lead to new partnerships, cross-promotions, or other valuable collaborations.
Hundreds of small business owners, funders, industry experts, and government leaders will be attending the SOAR Summit. This is your chance to add valuable new contacts to your network who can help your business grow.
Reason #2: Meeting small business resource partners in person
The SOAR Summit exhibit hall will be buzzing with activity this year. Small business resource partners serving Eastern Kentucky are looking forward to getting to know entrepreneurs, small business owners, and aspiring founders.
You can count on meeting representatives from:
- The Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which can help you with loan opportunities, resources, and flooding recovery.
- The Mountain Association, which supports small business growth, provides funding, and proposes strategies to reduce your utility bills.
- KY Innovation, one of our region’s greatest champions for entrepreneurship.
- Invest 606, a local accelerator and host of the Invest 606 Challenge pitch contest.
- Appalachian Investors Alliance, some of our region’s top funders.
- MAI Capital Management, which offers financial services for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
These resource partners help make the Summit possible. Be sure to check in with each of them and explore how you can grow your business with their support.
Reason #3: Learning valuable skills
This year’s SOAR Summit agenda is packed with valuable educational opportunities.
What sessions will you attend? You can pick from over 20 breakout sessions when planning your time at the event.
Small business owners can’t miss these 2:
- Social Media Workshop: A business coach from the Kentucky SBDC will help small businesses leverage the marketing power of social media.
- How to Craft a Winning Pitch: Keyhorse Capital and the SBDC will help founders maximize their funding meetings by creating the ultimate pitch deck.
Is your business involved with broadband, workforce development, healthy communities, or local food? If so, there will be additional sessions to attend, such as:
- EKY Remote: Establishing Remote Work as a Sector
- Alternative Financing Options for Broadband
- Upskilling and Reskilling in the Digital Economy: Accessing High-Paying Remote Work Opportunities
- Prioritizing Broadband Projects in your Community
- Agriculture Funding and its Impact in Eastern Kentucky
- Building Diverse Markets
- Improving Health Outcomes in Eastern Kentucky
- The Affordable Connectivity Program
- And more!
Check out the complete schedule to make your schedule for the 2022 SOAR Summit.
#4: Advance your business with the Speed Pitch Competition
What can you accomplish with a podium, a microphone, your idea, and two minutes to make your pitch?
Come find out at the SOAR Summit Speed Pitch Competition.
Your pitch should be fully dialed in before presenting. To help you prepare, we’re offering a breakout session on the same day as the competition — “How to Craft a Winning Pitch.”
Prizes for the winners include:
- $500 for first place
- $250 for second place
- $100 for third place
Don’t miss this incredible opportunity for feedback on your business pitch!
Students attend free of charge
Thanks to the support of Toyota Tsusho, high school and college-aged students can attend the SOAR Summit for free. Teachers are also encouraged to bring their classes to experience the Summit.
To coordinate student tickets or a class visit, please get in touch with Karen Roberts Prater at email@example.com or (606) 766-1160.
See you at the SOAR Summit!
Every person, business, government agency, and non-profit attending this year’s SOAR Summit is committed to seeing Eastern Kentucky succeed. We can’t achieve our goals without a thriving small business community taking part in the conversation, so we can’t wait to see you there!
The SOAR Summit is Appalachia’s premier event with exhibits, breakout sessions, and a one-of-a-kind plenary session. Register today to take part in an unforgettable experience. Use the promo code BLOG to save $20 on your total order.
SOAR Innovation — powered by KY Innovation — supports small businesses in Eastern Kentucky. Our team offers a range of resources focused on empowering entrepreneurs to launch, grow, and improve their businesses, including:
- The Complete Guide to Entrepreneurship in Eastern Kentucky
- Free direct services
- Downloadable resources
- A frequently-updated advice blog
Contact the SOAR Innovation team to learn more about the resources available to Eastern Kentucky small businesses.