Major players in Frisco — including Mayor Jeff Cheney — are working to unite the entrepreneurial spirit in the city with a new organization called Inspire Frisco.
The group held a launch party Thursday to give an outline of its plans to support and guide Frisco’s startup ecosystem. Inspire Frisco hopes to make networking and support easily accessible for the city’s entrepreneurial community.
In his address to the event’s attendees, Cheney noted that the organization grew out of meetings between Frisco groups about their own entrepreneurial initiatives.
“All these great entities were trying to do things by themselves, which was uninspiring,” Cheney said.
GIVING FRISCO ‘ONE VOICE’ FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Inspire Frisco seeks to change that, allowing these groups to be connected with one another and aware of what each can offer to up-and-coming businesses.
“The group’s purpose is to speak with one voice if you will, from all these entities that are working in entrepreneurship here in Frisco,” LaunchPad City general manager Kedreon Cole told Dallas Innovates.
“Inspire Frisco helps us learn what everyone is providing, how we can support one another, and maximize the impact on the entrepreneur in Frisco.”
Inspire Frisco partners include; Code Authority, Collin College, Frisco Chamber of Commerce, Frisco Economic Development Corporation, Frisco ISD, Frisco Public Library, LaunchPad City, University of North Texas, Workforce Solutions, and Young Entrepreneurs Academy.
“Inspire Frisco helps us learn what everyone is providing, how we can support one another, and maximize the impact on the entrepreneur in Frisco,” said Tony Felker, president and CEO of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce.
BUILDING ON ENTREPRENEURIAL COLLABORATION
This isn’t the first time Frisco has collaborated to support entrepreneurship within the city. Frisco ISD, Frisco Economic Development Corporation, and the Frisco Chamber all partnered to create the first Texas branch of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, an educational program giving middle and high school students experience in the process of establishing and running a business.
Frisco ISD sees its involvement with Inspire Frisco as a way to prepare students for a business-driven future. The district also plans to implement an academic entrepreneur program — INCubatoredu — at four high schools in the 2018-19 school year. INCubatoredu will complement the entrepreneurship course already offered at all FISD high schools for sophomore, junior, and senior students, said Allison Miller, director of the Frisco Education Foundation.
Clarence Williams, FISD’s area director for secondary instruction, said INCubatoredu will give students a more hands-on experience than the existing class, allowing them to put what they learn in the course into action.
Cole said joining Inspire Frisco was a natural fit for LaunchPad City, a collaborative workspace in Frisco.
“LaunchPad City is focusing on developing and providing resources for entrepreneurs, and anytime we could participate and potentially add value to an initiative that is so closely aligned with the work that we’re doing already — it just makes sense,” Cole said.
Inspire Frisco is still solidifying the details of how it will carry out its vision to help local entrepreneurs. The organization’s next event will be held in May. Further event information will be announced at a later date.
Click here for scenes from Inspire Frisco. Photos by Merissa De Falcis.