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The fourth event in the “Go Local” Think Tank Series was held on October 10, 2012, at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. The event drew thirty in-person participants representing a variety of industries and a number of organizations including Startup America and the Kauffman Foundation. Part of what made the event such a success was the day’s moderators who represented a who’s who of local Chicago small business experts, who collectively contribute to outlets including Forbes, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, American Express Open Forum, Crain’s Chicago Business, AllBusiness.com and who’ve appeared on MSNBC, FOX News, FOX Business, WGN TV Chicago, Bloomberg, CNBC, and NPR’s the Tavis Smiley Show.

Nationally recognized small business columnist Gene Marks was the emcee of the day. Breakout sessions were led by Carol Roth, partner at CarolRoth.com and Intercap Merchant Partners; Kris Lonsway, owner at Lonsway Consulting LLC; and Barry Moltz, speaker, consultant and author at Barry Moltz LLC, and focused on Access to Capital & Markets, Access to Networks, Talent & Expertise, and Access to Technology.

Discussions were driven by Dell-commissioned research that looked at local business conditions and key takeaway included:
  • Scrappy entrepreneurs have a different kind of currency. A lot can be gained by understanding how to maximize current and potential human capital.
  • Small businesses understand that applications can help manage their data, but are looking for a solution that provides a more robust, integrated management platform without the enterprise contracts and costs.
  • Regardless of what happens in November, small businesses are still planning to grow and be successful. What they need is a true voice in the government.
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