Entrepreneurship, Networking and Innovation

Nov 9, 2017

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"The Main Street Matters"

By Amanda Holland ‘18

Entrepreneurship, networking and innovation were the three key themes at CONNECT 2017: Main Street 2.0 event at the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship in Keene, NH, on November 7.

President Kim Mooney ’83, a second-year member on the board for the Hannah Grimes Center, invited students to go to the inaugural event in 2016 and again this year to develop their professional connections, in addition to expanding their opportunities in the Monadnock Region.

“The event shines a light on the innovation and entrepreneurship that is alive and well in Keene,” said Mooney.

This year was no different. Dr. Mary Ann Gaal, assistant dean for the College of Business, attended the event in 2016 as well, knowing the benefits that it offers to students. “I hope this gives students an opportunity to put their best foot forward and to network with local business owners in the area.”

Varying in majors from marketing to accounting, finance, the students who attended the event were appreciative of the experience and hoped to improve their business networks in their respective fields. Rebecca Whalen, who will be graduating in the spring of 2018 with a Marketing degree, was hoped to gain some knowledge from those attending the event. “I hope to get some insight and business connections for when I leave Franklin Pierce,” she said.

Business owners and entrepreneurs from the Keene area are hopeful to see the metropolis develop and prosper in the next five to 10 years. According to Phil Sumter, Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Commerce of Keene, targeting millennials is the best way to do this.

 “I refer to Keene as the coolest place you’ve never heard of. People live here for a reason. A lot of really young people are starting to take charge and I’m their biggest cheerleader,” said Sumter.

Zach Williams, a representative from Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s office who works as a special assistant for policy projects specifically focusing on business and economic issues, attended the event on November 7. “We are very excited to be invited to this event and to see the future ideas for Keene,” said Williams.

Keene is on the rise, and keynote speaker Greg Tehven summed it up best as he spoke to the room full of business hopefuls; “The main street matters.”


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