On May 6, 2016, as part of National Small Business Week, an annual event promoted by the U.S. Small Business Association, the 5th Summit on Entrepreneurship and Innovation took place at the San Jose City Hall Rotunda. Organized by BusinessOwnerSpace (BOS), Work2future, San José Office of Economic Development, and the Small Business Administration and supported by the BOS Partners, the event was dedicated to coalescing nonprofits, entrepreneurs, budding businesses and City leaders to support and foster the growth of small businesses in Silicon Valley.
With welcome speeches by San José Mayor Sam Liccardo, Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, and keynote speeches by U.S. Administrator of the Small Business Administration and Obama Cabinet Member Marie Contreras-Sweet, and local business owners Andrew Ly and Maria Castellon, the event kicked-off with palpable enthusiasm. Throughout the morning various workshops and panels were offered to the participants such as: Access to Capital, Understanding Business Dashboards, Borrowing to Expand, and Using Technology and Social Media.
Silicon Valley Talent Partnership (SVTP) was honored to facilitate the Mentoring Meet-Up that followed the workshops. Offering small business owners and entrepreneurs access and one-on-one mentoring sessions with some of the Valley’s most dedicated professionals has been one the most profound ways SVTP has been able to assist our community. With corporate partners such as EY and Bank of America, as well as executives and successful small business owners from the community, the mentees were exposed to a wide wealth and breadth of expertise. 15 minute one-on-one sessions on topics ranging from access to capital, business planning, social media, marketing, tax and law, were available to the participants of the Summit.
Within an hour, over 40 mentoring sessions took place with the mentors offering advice to small tech start-ups, burgeoning acupuncture businesses, elderly care facilities, inventors, engineers, artists, salons, fashion designers, and contracting firms. While it was inspiring to see such a diverse crowd of mentors counseling such a diverse crowd of aspiring businesses, the meet-up was also a wonderful snapshot of the diversity, compassion and dedication of our community here in San José.
We would like to thank the organizers of the 5th Summit on Entrepreneurship and Innovation for allowing us to participate in this event, the many mentees for being brave enough to forge their own paths, and finally the mentors that donated their time and effort to make San Jose a stronger community.
Inspiring Quote from Mentor:
“To me it was the best session so far, to be able to talk one on one, and listen to such great stories, how passionate they are about their ideas/business, it was amazing!”
Senior Tax Manager at Ernst&Young
Mehdi Behnami – Invensense
Maxine Goulding – California Special Occasions
Kirti Kandade – Silicon Valley Talent Partnership
Marguerite Lee – Slice of New York
Anthony Napolitano – Napolitano Law Firm
Maria O’Hollearn – Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley
TR Ramachandran – Kanvz
Carlos Roa – Ernst and Young
Sina Sartipi – Bank of America
Kirk Vartan – Slice of New York