Entrepreneurship is alive and well in Richmond, VA – you’d know that already if you were at the Venture Forum’s Entrepeneur Fair today @ Capital One Town Center. Rich Reinecke, President of the Forum and founder of Career Quest, led the charge on making the Fair a really stellar event.

Of course there were sponsors – we all owe a debt of deep thanks to the Better Business Bureau, The Greater Richmond Partnership, the VA Council of CEOs, RichmondBizSense.com, CBS6/WTVR Digital Media, BluTiger, Cherry Bekaert Holland, FranNet, LeClairRyan, Mitchell Wiggins & Co., Strategy by Design, and the VA Biosciences Development Center, because without their support, and that of Capital One, the event wouldn’t have been nearly as successful (and it was luxurious, too).

Where the action really was, though, was in the great speed networking session facilitated by Ignite Speed Networking‘s Mike Ogilvie, and the buffet of breakout sessions where budding, and established, business owners could learn from entrepreneurs who’ve been there, done that, and have the t-shirt (and hard lessons learned) to prove it.

Advice was available on:

  • buying a business
  • pitching your idea
  • how to transition from the corporate world to entrepreneurship
  • why entrepreneurship makes sense (you can control your destiny!)
  • what pitfalls to avoid

The Fair wrapped up with a panel of successful entrepreneurs, led by Steve Kimball of Tuscan Advisors. He made a very powerful statement that resonated with everyone in the room, and bears repeating here: Entrepreneurs are America’s competitive advantage.

How true – and cool – is that?

This is why I tell the  job-seekers I talk to that they want to consider realigning their thinking: don’t think J-O-B, think B-I-Z.

If you’ve got an idea, there’s no time like the present. A down economy can be a great time to bring that idea to market – just ask the folks who started Cisco back in ’87, on the heels of an epic market crash.

Think of your startup idea as a personal stimulus package.

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it….

The Story on Richmond’s Entrepreneurs
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