"Networking is the key to innovation" 2018 SOAR Summit brings businesses together

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PIKE Co., Ky. (WYMT) - Day one of the twenty eighteen SOAR Summit is underway. Hundreds are gathered here at the Expo Center in Pikeville all working toward the same goal. To help shape our Appalachian region. Today is the day for what is being referred to as pre-summit sessions. Two breakout sessions addressing technology and healthcare in Appalachia were held. Also, several intensive workshops talking about SOARS blueprint for plans to build up industry, agriculture and tourism opportunities in Eastern Kentucky.

SOAR's Executive Director Jared Arnett says being able to provide businesses and organizations with the opportunity to network is the key to innovation.

"This year we thought we are going to dedicate more time to that. To people who really wanna get engaged. We thought maybe two to three hundred people would come for two days. We had 600 people sign up for both days," said Arnett. "So obviously there is a hunger for it and people wanna get involved and engaged and take some ownership in the future of the region."

And seeing businesses share their experience to help one another grow is evidence of our SOAR's vision taking shape.

"If you're in a community and you have an idea of starting a farmers market. Well there are people here that have funded Farmer's Markets there are people here that have built Farmer's Markets," said Arnett. "Then you talk to them and get their card and ask them how they did it."

Arnett went on to say that although much of SOARS original blueprint has come to fruition there is still much work to be done. But there is proof that everyone is on the right path.

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