What’s Next Alaska?

Ky Holland, Originally Posted November 21, 2020, Updated 1/25/21

This past week was Alaska’s 8th annual Alaska Startup Week, a statewide program promoting entrepreneurs and startups in the state.

Alaska Startup Week is now organized each year by a team of community volunteers that include community activists and entrepreneurs. This year included over 40 events that can be found in full here.

But while AK Startup Week has already passed, the effects of the conversations shared hasn’t. Funnily enough, the organizing committee even considered canceling AK Startup Week this year due to COVID-19—yet none of the events focused on the disruption the pandemic forced upon all of us.

While COVID has had a terrible impact on established Alaskan business and families, surprisingly COVID was not a focus of the startup week events or discussions. It was a reminder that entrepreneurs and startups are not focused on barriers or constrained by the way things are or have always been done in the past.

To put it into a different context, Alaska Startup Week was a week spent with people who are currently building the next Alaska they want to see.

Alaska Startup Week is more than events

But Alaska Startup Week is more than just events. Each year, the Journal of Commerce features a series of opinion essays organized by Gretchen Fauske at the UA Center for Economic Development.

But Alaska Startup Week is more than just events. Each year, the Journal of Commerce features a series of opinion essays organized by Gretchen Fauske at the UA Center for Economic Development.

This year, I wrote an op-ed for Alaska V3, which you can find here.

I encourage you to read all of the essays, of course which are listed here:

What’s Next Alaska –   https://www.alaskajournal.com/2020-11-17/startup-week-2020-whats-next-alaska-startup-week-look-back-and-ahead

In order to build thriving businesses, we must focus on the entrepreneur https://www.alaskajournal.com/2020-11-16/startup-week-2020-order-build-thriving-businesses-we-must-focus-entrepreneur

A Gap in the Market: Young Entrepreneurs Are Missing Opportunitieshttps://www.alaskajournal.com/2020-11-19/startup-week-2020-gap-market-young-entrepreneurs-are-missing-opportunities

Partnering for Purpose Greater than the Bottom Linehttps://www.alaskajournal.com/2020-11-20/startup-week-2020-partnering-purpose-greater-bottom-line

We need each other, now more than everhttps://www.alaskajournal.com/2020-11-20/startup-week-2020-we-need-each-other-now-more-ever

Conclusion

Each year, Alaska Startup Week, runs the in early November at the same time as the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week. It’s a rather eventful week whether online or off, but this year, we did things differently. Never before had we considered all virtual events, but, as with all things in 2020, the pandemic forced us into new perspectives.

And even though attendance wasn’t as high as it’s always been, it’s brought up interesting questions to consider moving forward, including:

  • What will our next Alaska look like virtually and in-person?
  • Will we all absorb an online/offline hybrid model for events moving forward?
  • How will 2020 affect our preparedness for Alaska V3?
  • And of course, what other questions need to be asked in order to attract progressive individuals, new thinking, and collaborations?

If you are interested in helping with this work moving forward—even if you’re not sure what that work might be—please add your name to the list below to receive updates.

Alaska V3 Sign Up Form

And if you’d like to see a detailed outline of the project, here is the downloadable version.

You can visit our new website at http://akv3.com/ where you can link to our Facebook and Linkedin Groups, sign up for updates; and, join our effort as an organizer, partner, sponsor or participant in the journey of exploring ‘What’s Next, Alaska?’!

Thank you for the many ways you support Alaska, Alaskans, and our state’s future.

Ky