Startup Waco hosts networking opportunity for Wacoans

Waco Startup Week is a free event including seminars and networking opportunities for Waco small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. It will be held at the Waco Hippodrome Theatre on Nov. 2-3. Olivia Martin | Photo Editor

By Amber Glowski | Reporter

Startup Waco will host its inaugural Waco Startup Week on Nov. 2-3 at the Waco Hippodrome Theatre.

The free event will include seminars and networking opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses in Waco, according to the nonprofit’s Eventbrite page.

Before his role as assistant director of development and community engagement at Startup Waco, Jacob Kehoe was a Baylor student with a business idea. Kehoe said he’s drawn on his personal experience to fuel his passion for Startup Week.

“I started a business in college, and I didn’t know about resources,” Kehoe said. “I’m excited to see others discover what is available. To be a part of changes that are happening in Waco, that is going to be huge. It also doesn’t hurt to meet great people who want to help you.”

Attendees of the event will include Waco Mayor Dillon Meek, local chambers of commerce and institutions of higher education, such as Baylor.

“It’s more of a community focus and getting plugged in with people,” Kehoe said. “This will be very community driven, and a community-led event.”

As a native Wacoan, Ashley Olivarez said she has witnessed growth and collaboration in Waco increase. In her current role as a community and operations associate for Startup Waco, she wants to see that community collaboration grow more through events like Startup Week.

“We are a small city town with big city potential,” Olivarez said. “I’m excited for people to get a taste of other entrepreneurs and to get a taste of what is happening here in Waco, to see people’s dreams flourish.”

While admission to Startup Week is free, attendees are encouraged to register for the event. Programming for Startup Week will run from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. each day with a complimentary happy hour at Stay Classy Waco following the first day’s activities.

“Waco is a great diverse mixture of people, and through Startup Week we can really build community and bridge that gap,” Olivarez said. “With the right mindset you can really get a lot out of it.”