By Taylor Moyer
The one word that sums up 2017 at SDEE is involvement. As we’ve developed new programs and signed up new members, we’ve expanded opportunities for entrepreneurs to connect, learn, and grow. With this growth, I wanted to take some time to reflect on SDEE’s founding and how it serves to benefit members and the San Diego entrepreneurial community.
When reviewing our origins, it’s important to remember that San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE) was founded in 2010 by local entrepreneurs as a 501c3 nonprofit organization to offer a voice, resources, and a support system to help entrepreneurs and their companies thrive in the San Diego ecology. We’ve continued to grow our programs and benefits as our member base expands.
SDEE has provided support and education to over ~2400 individual participants in the past 7 years. We are proud to offer quarterly Entrepreneur Roundtable events, reaching hundreds of entrepreneurs, on topics ranging from “How I Started My Company and Why,” and “Being Fundable,” to “Beer- The Original Biotech.” We also offer a focused workshop series that offers a smaller, more intimate milieu for entrepreneurs to explore topics such as grant writing, negotiation, how to manage business operations, and more; and our monthly socials provide a relaxed environment for local members to network, socialize, and support each other through the challenging start-up landscape.
New “Investor Day” Program
We are excited to announce that the “Investor Day” series we rolled out in 2017 has been a smashing success for both SDEE members, who received multiple opportunities to get in front of real, investing VC partners, and also the VCs who were granted access to the incredible technology being developed by members of the SDEE community. I am proud to announce that we have already added new firms to the series and will be continuing the program on through 2018!
A Volunteer-Based Organization
At our core, SDEE is a grass-roots organization, comprised solely of volunteers, working to improve the entrepreneur support system with the end goals of facilitating and fostering funding, new business growth, and job development in San Diego. Understanding that we need a strong volunteer base to increase the systems we so badly want to develop, we are working hard to increase our volunteer program to make it easier and more fruitful to those willing to offer an investment of their time.
Giving Back to SDEE
SDEE has been the safe and supportive group that, as a business owner, I have grown up in, and its members have supported me through the many stages of entrepreneurism that I have struggled, and am still struggling through. It has offered me a team of people who unfailingly offer help, expertise, and guidance through the myriad of questions, twists, and turns that we all encounter when starting and growing a company. I am excited to act as SDEE President for 2018 and to work to give back what SDEE has given me over the last 6 years.
Increase Your Involvement
In 2018, we will host our 5th annual “Get to Know Your Neighbor” event, which focuses on opening the door for, and promoting, partnering locally whenever possible. We are also looking to expand our Investor Day programs and will increase the presence and activity of our Vendor Committee to give our vendor partners the opportunity to help and support. Make 2018 the year that you capitalize on your SDEE membership by increasing your involvement; joining a committee, taking advantage of learning opportunities, and helping us to provide more support than ever to you and everyone else in the SDEE network!