If there is one key takeaway from “Expanding Our Entrepreneurial Imagination in Indianapolis” was that the showcase was jam-packed with programming, tours and conversations. Participants from four different cities hit the roads of two neighborhoods in Indianapolis, one of Forward Cities’ Community Entrepreneurship Accelerator cities, each advancing entrepreneurial opportunity on their own paths. Nonetheless, our Research team asked the participants to go out of their way and take an additional three surveys over the course of the two days, because we saw an opportunity to set a new standard about how we can capture the impact of city visits like these. Kudos to the twenty, who stuck with us through all the questions of the pre and post-event surveys; you hold the record for the highest response rate of any of our survey instruments ever launched.
Our Research team has been brooding for a while about how we can measure the novelty, quality, and longevity of connections that participants of trips like these establish among one another.
Our goal: let us test and quantify the previously largely unchallenged notion that bringing ecosystem-building practitioners from across the country together in one community, while creating spaces for knowledge exchange and learning, will result in participants in fact making professionally-relevant connections. The cherry on the top of the hypothesis under scrutiny is that participants actually return to their home communities with practical ideas for strengthening their own work inspired not only by the work they saw on the ground but also by conversations had with other attendees.