Sunday, December 13, 2009

AEN—Our First Year in Review

As we come to the end of the first year for the Austin Entrepreneur Network, we look back. We launched at the beginning of the year to bring networking, mentoring, and funding to startups in Austin. I’m proud to say we made great strides in all three areas.

We launched our new website in June, 2009, and recently went through another update this month. The website hosts over 30 blogs from experts in Austin. Entrepreneurs can benefit from the knowledge of experts in the area of finance, web, sales, marketing and more. The AEN Resource page has a list of over 130 groups in Austin related to entrepreneurship.

AEN also launched the First Look Forum which seeks to generate mentorship for startups. In a First Look Forum, ten entrepreneurs give their Fastpitch followed by ten mentors also giving a Fastpitch. We then go through a 5-minute “speed date” between each mentor and each entrepreneur. On average, each entrepreneur finds three mentors to followup with.

In the area of mentoring, AEN kicked off a Shortcourse series on social media and web with over 160 attendees in the Fall series. We also ran three Startup Business Classes providing mentorship to over 40 companies.

For funding, AEN ran the Central Texas Funding Forum 2009 in May with David Rose of the New York Angels providing the keynote address. With over 140 in attendance the event hosted 20+ breakout sessions providing mentorship as well as 15 entrepreneurs giving their Fastpitch to potential investors. The Baylor Angel Network launched bringing more investors to the Austin entrepreneur community.

Finally, AEN launched the Austin Fastpitch Show highlighting 6 entrepreneurs giving their Fastpitch on video which will soon launch on the AEN site. This gives more exposure to Austin entrepreneurs through the web to find networking, mentorship and funding.

We want to say thanks to the many bloggers, investors, providers, and entrepreneurs who participated in the first year of AEN and look forward to serving the Austin community for years to come.

Best regards,
Hall T.

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