The Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation (EDC) will launch Grow Blue Springs with an official launch party on May 15, 2012. The launch party will be held in the Conference Room at the Heartland Financial Building, 1600 Northeast Coronado Drive in Blue Springs at 5PM.
The Blue Springs EDC exists to promote business development and investment, lead to the creation of jobs, and support economic development in the City of Blue Springs, Missouri. Nationwide trends demonstrate the inability to maintain growth and job creation by focusing on landing large corporations looking to relocate. With this in mind, The Blue Springs EDC wanted to create an environment in Blue Springs that allowed new businesses to form and grow within city limits. The product is Grow Blue Springs, an ecosystem that will encourage entrepreneurship, facilitate growth with existing businesses and educate residents about the benefits of buying local and supporting Blue Springs Businesses. The backbone of the ecosystem is an online software platform that allows business owners and entrepreneurs to create a detailed plan at their own pace. They can be matched with coaches and other business resources as they progress through the different stages of the software program and even gain access to funding. When an entrepreneur reaches a stage in the software platform that requires an Attorney, Insurance Agent or Certified Public Accountant, the system will direct them to vetted resources in the community that provide those services. Brien Starner, President of The Blue Springs EDC stated, “The importance, value, and future contributions of Grow Blue Springs to our community will be a significant driver of our growth in jobs, capital investment, and increasing small business and entrepreneurial success. This initiative is among the top two priorities for the EDC now and going forward.”
Grow Blue Springs will also host events that will spotlight some of the businesses working through the platform. These events will allow the business owners to make presentations to potential customers as well as investors. In May 2011, Trevor Goodwin Co-Owner of The Sweet Tooth Cupcakery and Co-Chair of Grow Blue Springs participated in one of these events called PitchOn. This event allowed Trevor along with 11 other local business owners to pitch their idea to 12 different investors in short one on one sessions. Trevor said, “The PitchOn event was like the TV show Shark Tank combined with speed dating. You got 5 minutes with each investor, the bell rang and you moved on to the next investor. You had to have a thorough understanding of your elevator pitch and be on your toes to take advantage of this opportunity.” In addition to PitchOn, Grow Blue Springs will host StartFest and GrowFest events.
Grow Blue Springs is poised to create an environment that allows businesses to thrive with the support of local resources and civic business leaders. While The Blue Springs EDC is backing Grow Blue Springs, local business owners have volunteered to take leadership positions and are moving the platform forward. Kim Deveney of American Funding Solutions LLC and Co-Chair of Grow Blue Springs said, “Grow Blue Springs is a coordinated effort made up of local business owners and overseen by the EDC. It will be a huge benefit for businesses and ultimately the residents of Blue Springs. It has been awesome to see local business owners working together with the EDC on this project. Our goal to make Blue Springs the ‘premier’ place to start, grow or relocate a business when compared to other local options.”
The Blue Springs EDC will introduce Grow Blue Springs to public with a launch party on May 15, 2012. The party will take place at The Heartland Financial Building from 5PM until 7PM. Several Grow Blue Springs Coordinators will be available to answer questions and explain the role they play in creating a successful ecosystem. The event is open to anyone that is interested in being more involved in Grow Blue Springs, including business owners, entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and bankers. For more information about Grow Blue Springs, contact Trevor Goodwin at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kim Deveney at email@example.com. To RSVP for the Grow Blue Springs Launch Party, contact Sher Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org.