On Oct. 12, the University of West Georgia hosted “Go Crowd West, the Capital Journey in Georgia” at the Coliseum. According to the Georgia Crowd Funding Association’s mission statement, the GCA vow is to “advocate, educate and develop an ecosystem of businesses, investors, local communities, professional services providers and students to create a new framework for social investing in Georgia.” Gene Wright, founder of GCA, is known throughout the Georgia business community as a top adviser for entrepreneurs, small businesses and investors.

Wright, joined by over 30 keynote speakers, spoke to guests in five different workshops; Sprout West, Fund West, Invest West, Start and Grow West. The event featured keynote speakers such as Lara O’Connor Hodgson, who has extensive experience in brand development, corporate strategy, business development, marketing and operations. Hodgson has launched product and service businesses, raised capital and served in executive management. Stacey Abrams is a 2012 recipient of the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, which is given to role models for a new generation of public servants.

Another prominent keynote speaker at Crowd West who attracted much attention was the professional athlete and philanthropist, Theo Ratliff.

Ratliff was selected as a NBA All Star in 2001.  He is known as one of NBA’s legendary shot blockers, leading the league for three straight seasons. The 6’10” center, who recently played for the Los Angeles Lakers, has been yearning to use his role model status to make the world a better place. Ratliff served as an executive board member for the NBA players union for 13 years. As president of Ratliff Enterprises, Inc., he oversees a portfolio of diversified holdings in real estate, digital media, financial services and sports and nutritional supplements. Ratliff received a degree in Communications at the University of Wyoming and completed coursework at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

“This is a great event for all entrepreneurs. You learn so much from the seminars and guest speakers as well as a great opportunity to network by meeting people who have similar interests as yourself,” said Brittany Keller, a graduate assistant at UWG.  “I have gained a lot from this event and hope I can use the knowledge obtained today towards my own business.”

To find out more information about CrowdWest visit their website at: www.crowdwest.org.

 

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