Updated: Sep 27
By James Cannon
After running two successful years of EnterCircle, a business forum on the First Coast, Raghu Misra is ready for an even bigger 2023 event.
The EnterCircle event seeks to address the challenges faced by newcomers in integrating into the business ecosystem. Networking and making connections is a key focus of the event, he said, along with helping attendees become familiar with the local business landscape.
"More than half the people I meet in the business community these days aren't from Jacksonville," Misra told the Business Journal. "After a decade of massive population growth, we have a lot of new faces around here. This event is perfect to introduce people to the companies and people that are making moves on the First Coast."
Unlike many other tech and entrepreneurial-themed events, this will be more hands on, Misra said. To this end, there will be a pitch competition workshop and rehearsal, aimed at providing guidance to startup founders while minimizing discouragement. Even in the best of economic times, raising funds is difficult, Misra said but the current economic climate poses additional challenges for startups seeking funding, as VC funding has decreased significantly this year. Which is why, Misra said, the event will be hands on, so participants will be able to walk away with actionable information. This year is poised to be an even larger event, as four St. Johns County schools will bring students to participate in the workshops aimed at young entrepreneurs on Nov. 16. Last year, about 150 students participated with Misra expecting more than 250 students for the 2023 event.
There are also panels and workshops aimed at women and small business owners, with hands-on components and mentorship availability, he said. Initially envisioned as a weeklong business symposium, akin to the Miami-based Art Basel, the three day-long event is poised to keep growing, Misra said. EnterCircle is a program of Sapna Foundation, a not-for-profit 501 3(c) organization with a mission to participate in poverty alleviation through K-12 education support, workforce development and small business resiliency. The event will be hosted at The Link, a state-of-the-art space for entrepreneurs and business professionals, Nov. 15-17.
Join us for the second annual EnterCircle Summit. Collaborate with fellow entrepreneurs, learn from successful business professionals, ignite creativity, spark ideas, and create opportunities to strengthen your dreams.