139 Applicants submitted proposals to Innové for funding and support. This was a remarkable number for an endeavor in its first year. Our brilliant Publicity Task Force did a great job. Further brilliance was demonstrated by our Screening Task Force as they read over every application several times and selected 45 to move to the next step. The Navigators Task Force is currently reading the 45 applications and will select up to 24 as Semi-Finalists on Monday, February 11.
At the February 11 Navigators Meeting, each Semi-Finalist will be assigned a Navigator to guide them through the rest of the process. At this point Innové becomes a competition! Semi-Finalists will vie for funds to be determined by the Judges. At the same time, all Semi-Finalists receive mentoring, skills coaching, an opportunity to expand their networks and a worthwhile experience from Colonial Church. Every Semi-Finalist will be posted on the Innové website for you to meet and see and subsequently pray for.
On Saturday March 9, all Semi-Finalists, Navigators and as many Skills Coaches as possible are required to attend the day-long Innové Semi-Finalist Workshop. Under the direction of its own Task Force, this Workshop is coming together beautifully and looks to be a very exciting day. There will be inspirational speakers, entrepreneurial experts from throughout the Twin Cities, plenty of time to connect and network with coaching and other resources.
Innové itself is an entrepreneurial project. We’re learning a lot as we go along. It’s been well received not only by applicants, but by a number of organizations that have offered their own support. You’ve seen the media coverage as well. Brian Jones has visited business programs at St.Thomas and Bethel, as well as entrepreneurial groups, all of whom invited him to share our experience even as we are experiencing it! We continue to pray that Innové will make an important contribution to our life together as a church and, most importantly, to God’s work in the world.