Laurie Daugherty | Photo courtesy of Venture Connectors

Founding executive director Laurie Daugherty of the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurship will be the featured speaker at the Venture Connectors monthly luncheon on Feb. 1. GSE was founded in 2013 to immerse young people in the training and mentorship they would need to start a company.

GSE is a three-week summer program for 9-11th grade Kentucky students. It’s free to participate and culminates with a Demo Day where students show off the companies that they have been working on. The top five teams earn money for their companies.

GSE mimics an accelerator, with mentors and business leaders offering guidance. Daugherty will offer ways in which people at the luncheon can get involved with the program.

Daugherty told IL in an email, “our most significant success lies in laying the foundation of entrepreneurial thinking and planting the seed of desire to spot problems and solve them through the business opportunities they create for themselves.”

Most of GSE alumni are attending college and doing entrepreneurial endeavors on the side, she explained.

The Venture Connectors luncheon meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at the Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. Sixth St. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the meeting runs from noon to 1:15 p.m. Members attend for free; associate members pay $30. Guests who register online by noon the day before the lunch pay only $40.