Culture is the Key
Our November speaker, Jess Knox is a returned-to-Maine native. His passion is finding and implementing ways to support small businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs – going concerns and growing concerns.
Jess has built his own business, worked in the private sector and as a senior level public service Associate Administrator with the SBA. He has been a “solopreneur” and has managed over 1,000 employees in 119 locations.
Hands on business experience coupled with a JD from the Maine School of Law, a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Public Organization Management from the Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service, and a Bachelors Degree in Politics and Government from Ohio Wesleyan University, clearly energize and inform our November speaker and his topic!
“Culture is the Key: Why a focus on the culture and social structures that support our innovators and entrepreneurs are critical for building Maine’s Innovation & Startup Community and how things like Startup Portland, Maine Startup & Create Week and Blackstone Accelerates Growth are working to help"
Further, Jess will address the need for Maine companies, large and small, entrepreneurs, innovators and funders of all flavors to, "get out of the house"; to look beyond Maine, to recognize and borrow unashamedly from innovation eco-systems in around New England and the U.S., other countries.
Jess B. Knox
Statewide Innovation Hub Coordinator, Blackstone Accelerates Growth
Founder, Olympico Strategies
Since January 2014, Jess has assisted Blackstone Accelerates Growth with the growth of its innovation hub program as its Statewide Innovation Hub Manager. Building on his work as a co-founder of the StartUp Portland website and “digital watering hole”, Jess works to build intentional and sustainable communities of innovation and entrepreneurship. Jess serves on various economic development boards, such as Mobilize Maine, which focuses on systems based approaches to economic development and growth strategies. He also writes a blog for the Bangor Daily News, called Disruptive Growth, which focuses on telling the stories of Maine entrepreneurs and innovators.
Jess Knox founded Olympico Strategies in July of 2012. Olympico helps companies and organizations build the relationships and innovative approaches needed for growth and change. He works with startups, emerging companies employing innovations and existing companies looking to expand and grow. Prior to that Jess served as the Vice President and Partner in the Washington D.C. consulting firm Growth Squared in July 2011. He served as the firm’s Vice-President, servicing client companies and providing insight on growth, workforce relationships and other business strategies. For 2.5 years beginning in early 2009, Jess served as a member of the Obama Administration where he was appointed to the Small Business Administration to serve as the Associate Administrator for Field Operations. In this role, Jess served as one of the five Associate Administrators who reported directly to the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. As part of this effort, Jess traveled more than two hundred thousand miles, supporting innovative approaches and learning about initiatives that support the growth of small companies, innovators and entrepreneurs.
Jess grew up in York, Maine, but he now resides in Portland, Maine with his wife Kate and son Edson.
Takes place from 9:45-10:30 following the regular meeting and is optional.
Tips for Stimulating Your Creativity
Want to spark ideas for new products, services, business models, marketing strategies? I will teach you a systematic approach to mining for information that will stimulate your thinking. This is just one Innovation Engineering™ tool that you can use in your day-to-day practice.
Facilitator: Cathy Renault, of Innovation Policyworks, helps states, communities, and organizations be more innovative and grow by gathering the latest data, technology, and trends, pooled from twenty-five years of experience in economic development. With Innovation Engineering™, the proven management system for innovation, you receive the best strategy to implement and measure for success.
The A.C.E. regular meeting has networking, a buffet breakfast and a speaker. Guests are welcome.
Registrations are required by November 17, 2014. If you want to be included on the registration list at the meeting then you need to register by the due date.
You can pay online by credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover NOT AMERICAN EXPRESS!) or mail a check to:
110 Marginal Way #142
Portland ME 04101
If you are mailing a check, please register here so the system can track the registrants for us. Thanks!
Members: the $22 fee only works if you pay in advance. At the door, it is $28.