“…to demonstrate that rural entrepreneurship will ignite a culture of potential, empowering people and places to thrive and define their future.”
Notice that our mission is not about just creating jobs or inspiring more business starts, but rather about igniting a culture of potential. These are words that roll off the tongue like poetry and pluck an emotional thread, but what is a culture of potential?
The words alone are historically significant from their Latin origins to their casual use today, with cultura or growing and potentia or power. When paired together, the words become a statement to grow or cultivate the latent or inherent power within an object or lifeform. There are many diverse and varied applications for a culture of potential, from the arts to the sciences (biology, physics, and even quantum physics) and, perhaps two of the most important words to define what it means to be human.
Aren’t we all the embodiment of potential, exploring various states of expression while reacting to various internal and external factors?
Why do we believe in our children and value their future and opportunities? Why do we love seeing someone overcome adversity against all the odds? Why are we drawn to the notion of finding our purpose or having passions? All of these are examples of how we pursue and get inspired by the expression of human potential.
Likewise, we remain fascinated by the expression of culture as a series of social contracts (spoken and unspoken) that define the behaviors and attitudes of communities of people that often expand and evolve (or degrade) organically. Similarly, when we pair culture with potentia or power, we create a declaration that potential is inherent to being human and that its expression informs the culture as a whole.
In simplest terms, a culture of potential is an agreement within a community that our inherent creative and expressive potential as human beings is worthy of cultivating both within individuals and the group itself.
Furthermore, as a culture of potential matures, it will be self-propagating within the community as the cultural behaviors, attitudes, and norms that ignite it will become ingrained.
Through the lens of entrepreneurship, we might state this as: The community desires the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards of entrepreneurship (such as personal freedom and jobs) and agrees that to gain such rewards, sufficient investment in igniting the inherent creative potential of its people and developing their entrepreneurial skills is a core value.
The first order of participating in a culture of potential is to believe in the inherent power of the people who are part and parcel of it. The greatest reward of this work is a new door into diversity, equity and inclusivity because to look at every human as a node of inherent potential in a state of ignition from latency to full spark is the cultivation of our collective ability to see people at their core and most valuable.
About Delaney Keating, Managing Director of Startup Colorado
Purpose: Seeing the Possibilities
As a Colorado native and rural resident, Delaney is honored to steward the inherent genius she believes exists because of living farther off the beaten path. Delaney is a seasoned creative, entrepreneur, and change agent. She successfully owned, operated, and exited her first company and has since been dedicated to fostering ingrained cultural values for art and innovation. As Executive Director of Startup Colorado, her mission is to drive greater coordination within the entrepreneurial ecosystem on behalf of rural entrepreneurs and the communities they call home. She is an unwavering believer in the potential of ideas, the people behind them, and the places they create.
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