Sheltowee Outpost

Introducing the Sheltowee Outpost.

Introducing the Sheltowee Outpost.

Nov 24 2013

I am Alex Day and I am the Founder of Sheltowee LLC. This blog is going to cover some topics about which I am very passionate. These include entrepreneurism, technology and innovation. You will also be hearing from other members of Sheltowee on this blog. Sheltowee is made up of a group of entrepreneurs who have built companies and created value, and all of it is done here in the "fly over" state of Kentucky. I hope that you will find the information in this blog informative and useful. This first article will give an introduction to the blog and discuss more about what you will be reading in future posts. Please let us know what you like, and what you don't like.

Entrepreneurs and innovators seem to be a popular topic these days. The term "entrepreneur" has become a part of pop culture. Let me give you a bit of a background on what an entrepreneur really is. It is not some 15 to 25 year old that comes up with an incredible idea and makes hundreds of millions of dollars. Although this seems to be what most government programs think that an entrepreneur is. An entrepreneur is someone who "assumes the risk". This includes individuals with incredibly diverse backgrounds, from the individual who starts a new dry cleaning business, to an internet guru, to a hard working family farmer. Entrepreneurs are really owners of small businesses. They assume the personal financial risk to build a business.

Unfortunately many of our public officials have adopted a new definition to entrepreneur. And that is essentially, "a young kid who is going to make millions". They develop programs that are supposed to attract these "entrepreneurs", and the whole time they neglect and discount the hundreds of entrepreneurs that are already in their community. It is wonderful to have lofty goals and want to have someone like Elon Musk or Larry Page start a multi-billion dollar empire in your neighborhood. It gets really good press and gives a good backdrop for politicians to brag about their prowess in economic development. And I encourage community leaders to try to attract and keep this talent. But let's not forsake the entrepreneurs we already have.

This brings me to a term with which you may not be familiar. I live in the "fly over" territory. This is the territory that venture capitalists and investors call everything between the east coast and the west coast. If you are not in in Silicon Valley, San Diego, New York or Boston, well you are in fly over country. We do have some emerging cities that are starting to challenge the dominance of these areas, like Austin, TX, but to many, if you are not on the coast, you are in fly over country.

I have made a career out of working with companies in places like Louisville, KY and Owensboro, KY. I remember meeting with one gentleman from Silicon Valley that told me my company would never be successful if I was not in Silicon Valley, because that’s where are the "good" entrepreneurs are. And if you look at concentration and quality of deals and access to capital, the centers of commerce, like Silicon Valley and the Boston area, certainly shine. But let's not forget that there are a few of us in fly over country that can actually innovate, AND, we don't want to live on the coast. We like the quality of life and communities that we have out here in fly over country. So the Sheltowee Outpost is going to be a blog that encourages, highlights and discusses the innovators and entrepreneurs in the fly over country. I hope you find our articles to be worthwhile and a source of information and encouragement. Enjoy.

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