Networking is an important part of business development whether you are in the beginning stages looking to share your concept or have an established customer base but are looking for increased exposure. Membership in organizations such as the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, offers a number of different networking opportunities such as Greeters. Greeters is a weekly networking group of Ashland Chamber members who gather at different business locations to share what is happening in their business. Professional relationships begin and grow through Greeter networking opportunities and businesses are invited to attend Greeters as a guest to see if Ashland Chamber membership is right for them. For more information about Ashland Chamber membership click here. For a calendar of where Greeters is each week click here.
Outside of networking opportunities with the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, other business development organizations have events to provide networking opportunities to support and grow business.
Formerly known as the Jefferson Grapevine, SOREDI’s A&E (angels and entrepreneurs) gatherings have one objective in mind: to inspire, inform, and nurture entrepreneurial spirit in Southern Oregon. SOREDI's A&E efforts are proudly sponsored by Moss Adams, LLP and Bank of the Cascades.
Bringing together a variety of business consultants, mentors, coaches, experts, and community leaders, SOREDI’s A&E activities are designed so that entrepreneurs can find the help they need to get them to the next stage in development and, ultimately, to bear the fruit of a successful, revenue producing business.
SOREDI’s A&E activities always include substantial time to network with peers and mentors, and meet new friends. The more formal (but please, no suits and ties!) portion of our A&E gatherings – whether a Grapevine or the annual conference will include three distinct elements:
1. Inspire - hear from other entrepreneurs or long standing businesses on how they started their business venture. They will share insight to help you move forward - or perhaps take a step back to be sure you are on the right path to success.
2. Inform - hear from local service providers, educators, or angel investors on what new programs or opportunities may be available to help you on your way to growing your Southern Oregon Business.
3. Nurture - we trust you will be nurtured during the hour-long networking time with food and beverage on hand, but we may also plan special educational sessions or small group breakaways with our partners to give specific advice on relevant topics. And be sure to watch for opportunities for you to pitch your idea to the whole group for feedback with a "Stand Up and Shout Out" session.
If you are a Concept Stage Company or a Launch Stage Company, you no longer need to wait for SOREDI’s Annual A&E Conference to pitch your idea and potentially win a competition to secure angel investment. If you have a great idea, you now have the opportunity to have your business concept potentially funded throughout the year. We can tell you how.
Where to Start? Schedule a one-hour, complimentary Sounding Board session with SOREDI and key partners. This SOREDI session is essentially the forum in which entrepreneurs can simply run an idea by service providers such as OEN and SOREDI. These are confidential meetings where startups can discuss their concept before moving on to the business development plan stage.
Sounding Board sessions must be scheduled in advance: Wednesdays – 9, 10 or 11 am. Contact Alex Pawlowski - Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. (SOREDI) – (541) 773-8946