The Klamath IDEA (Inspire Development, Energize Acceleration) will kick off the 2017-2018 season of IDEA Talks on Wednesday, November 15, from 5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at MC’s on Main.
“This year we’re mixing it up a little by having an entrepreneur demo or pitch or a business update followed by a keynote speaker. I’m hoping the new format might bring both entrepreneurs out as well as those that have something to offer the entrepreneurs in the ecosystem. The more people involved in the networking, the better chance we have to grow our economy. Additionally, to help sustain the initiative, we will be charging a nominal $5 at the door,” commented Kat Rutledge, director of the KCC Small Business Development Center and leader of Klamath IDEA.
First up at the Talk will be Gerald Holt, a local entrepreneur, who will be offering a demo of the Device Caddy. Holt will share the story of how the product was recently launched and his plan to reach a national market. The product conveniently holds a phone or portable hard drive while working with a laptop. Holt is a Klamath Basin resident and owner of Reit Labs, LLC and co-owner of Creatrex Education. “While I’ve presented at IDEA Talks previously, wearing my engineering and educator hat, I’m thrilled to be showing my entrepreneurial side with this invention,” indicated Holt.
The keynote presenter for the evening will be Jeff Baker from Craft3. The mission-focused nonbank lender announced in July that they will be opening a regional office in Klamath Falls to better serve all of Southern Oregon. Craft3 lends to businesses and community projects that need access to capital. It also provides affordable loans to homeowners to upgrade energy features or failing septic systems.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to share how Craft3 can use capital to strengthen Klamath Falls and Southern Oregon. As a non-bank loan fund, we have a great deal of flexibility to structure loans creatively so they work for many types of small businesses,” commented Baker.
“I’m thrilled to have Jeff come and represent Craft3. From an entrepreneurial and business development standpoint, this company gets it and they are structured such that they can invest and take some risks where other lenders cannot. They will be a nice addition on our long-term trajectory to rebuilding our economy. I genuinely hope that other bankers, partners, and entrepreneurs come out to learn about them,” commented Rutledge.
Klamath IDEA is a community initiative dedicated to supporting the development of resources necessary to drive the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region and encourage their use in the community.
IDEA Talks are gatherings designed as a networking opportunity for those with an entrepreneurial mindset and interested in learning, networking, and being inspired. Each gathering features one or more guest speakers discussing an inspirational or educational entrepreneurial related topic. IDEA Talks bring together entrepreneurs (of all ages), founders, business owners, innovators and support organizations under one roof to hear about and discuss opportunities, needs, and great ideas for starting a business, expanding a business, or getting support in the process.
“We believe embracing and supporting the entrepreneurial spirit has the potential to bring the community together to reshape the economic foundation of our region,” Rutledge said.
MC’s on Main is located at 617 Main St. in downtown Klamath Falls. Light refreshments, prepared by MC’s on Main, will be available as well as a no-host bar. Networking begins at 5:30 p.m. and the presentation will start at 6:15 p.m. Entry is $5 cash at the door.