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Community Engagement – Update

On December 2nd, President Joel Hickman and Key Bank hosted over twenty of their best customers to an event that featured COBE. Dwayne Barney discussed the state of the economy and his views on how we have ended up where we are now and how we got into this situation – providing a macro level solution to the problem.

On December 4th, COBE co-sponsored an event with the Urban Land Institute at which all faculty and guests were invited in the Sky-Center. This was a chance of the college to interact with over 100 key business leaders in this community. Greg and Wita Wojtkowski, Mark Buchannan, and Kirk Smith were also in attendance that evening.

Yesterday, Kevin Learned from the Small Business Development Center joined 20 other people from the business community, government and the university, including the President and Provost, in a round table discussion about the role technology plays in economic development in Idaho, where we stand on that now and what we can do to enhance Idaho’s technological position. The group is now planning what the next steps need to be to make something happen.

Last night, COBE co-hosted the Keiretsu Forum, Highway 12, and the Boise Angel Alliance at the Sky-Center. These are “angel investor” groups who fund start-up companies. This event was coordinated by Jeff Sugheir with help from Kent Neupert, John McIntosh and Joanie Andersen. Kent gave an excellent presentation discussing the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Northwest Venture Championships that will be held in March. A great panel discussion involving investors from Idaho, Seattle and California discussed how the process works, why they do this, and the good, bad, and ugly of angel investing. Karen Vauk also joined us in meeting with over 120 very influential people from the Idaho Business community.

Finally, Sandy Gough has stepped up to serve as a volunteer judge for the Idaho Small Business of the Year Award and will spend time next week reviewing a number of companies that have been nominated.

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