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an evening with the
barons of the beltway

part 4: Conclusion--Where Does Your Future Lie?

MS. SMITH: This has been fabulous. You are a fabulous audience for a great panel. I want to introduce again Mario Morino, founder of the Morino Institute and the Netpreneur program. Mario has reinvented himself as a social entrepreneur and the grassroots leader of our region's netpreneur community. Mario.

MR. MORINO: Thanks, Esther! The good news is that I threw away about 90% of what I was going to close with. Thank you for your stamina. You deserve an awful lot of credit for being here with us. I want to thank tonight's sponsors and give a very special thank you to the Netpreneur team—you've done a great job in putting this together. And, of course, all of our thanks to Bill, Jim and Russ. We are proud to have you with us this evening.

After the session ends, please join us in a networking session back in the State Room. We have some dessert and the dialogue will continue.

I'd like to leave you with a thought about where our future might lie.

Some people believe that the capital of Internet activity is in a Valley 3,000 miles from us or in a rainy, northwestern city. While it may be true for hardware and software, the Greater Washington region can and will become the center of Internet commerce as we become the leader in using advanced technology to create, produce and deliver information products and services. We can own this space. We own communications today. We own massive amounts of content. We have tremendous intellectual skills and the know-how to assimilate, package and provide needed context to this wealth of information in our region.

To come back to a phrase, we are really at the right place—Greater Washington—at the right time—the dawn of a network information age. We need each other's help to create a culture and a community.

The culture and community is the safety net. They are what allow us to leave a job and find another, to share experiences, to share our successes and to learn collectively from our failures so we can bounce back and do it better. The safety net is our collective strengths.

The vibrancy of a netpreneurial community becomes your safety net for the economic future. Help us build that. Help us come together with the Netpreneur Program. Wherever you can, contribute when it makes sense from your business perspective to bring groups together, contribute articles, share your knowledge, get lively in debates and discussions, come forth with projects you think can help to meld the culture and community in this region.

The Netpreneur Program is about creating a seamless flow of information exchange, relationships and experiences. That is what the Valley has benefited from over the years. It's not an economic development strategy; it's a social culture. We have the chance to finally do that here.

You, the new breed of entrepreneurs, can shape this culture. Please be an active part of changing this region

There may be some obstacles to our success—there always are. If you see a lot of roadblocks and are affected by them, then you may not be a netpreneur. If you see over the roadblocks because you don't give a damn about barriers, you are there. You are a netpreneur. You'll figure out a way to jump the hurdles; you'll figure out a way to get through or get around what is in your way. And, in doing so, you will succeed.

Thank you for being here, and most importantly, congratulations for all the tremendous innovation and excitement you will bring to this region.

Statements made at Netpreneur events and recorded here reflect solely the views of the speakers and have not been reviewed or researched for accuracy or truthfulness. These statements in no way reflect the opinions or beliefs of the Morino Institute, or any of their affiliates, agents, officers or directors. The transcript is provided "as is" and your use is at your own risk.  

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