To start with, you should know that the direction of the Lightning Jar will be in the very capable hands of the steering committee. These are the same folks that launched the project and kept it moving forward before I started in July. Because of their hard work coworking, programs, and events will continue to run as planned.
As any entrepreneur will tell you, starting a new venture like this one is challenging and exciting and, sometimes, scary. The beauty of the Lightning Jar is that makes it a little less scary. It's hard to really understand the power of the Lightning Jar community until you've joined it. I've seen young entrepreneurs build their confidence both organically and methodically here. Just last week the most recent Startup 802 cohort pitched their business ideas, and I was blown away. These folks are serious, and they're going to succeed. Some were makers, like carpenters and bakers, and others had plans to explore music management, fitness centers, and major tech innovations. There is a wealth of talent and enthusiasm in the Bennington community. Equally exciting, we have a community of mentors and support systems that is eager to help – I've seen casual conversations turn into learning opportunities and business referrals that eventually launched a new business.
For me, the best part of my time here has been the folks that walk in the door with an idea and no introduction. That's brave. Most people have fabulous ideas and only a few pursue them. For this reason, the Lighting Jar is hugely important. This community has built a place where others can come to explore their ideas and share their passions. I'm proud to have helped create these opportunities.
Looking forward, it's time for me to move on. It's bittersweet, but I'm not afraid. The Lightning Jar will continue on without me, and I'll get a chance to explore my own entrepreneurial tendencies. This is just the beginning for us both.