Sam Reinke / Equinox Staff

Matt White

Equinox Staff

Keene State College hosted Radically Rural on Thursday, September 19, in the Mabel Brown Room. This event is an opportunity for local businesses to make connections with one another.

Radically Rural is an annual event that brings together hundreds of people who are passionate about creating a lively rural community. It gives companies the opportunity to get their name out to other companies that attended the event.

It featured an authentic downtown as a conference center, utilizing various venues for productive and inspirational discussions. The event builds upon last fall’s first Radically Rural. Approximately 500 locally focused attendees from 21 states gathered and shared the advantages and opportunities of rural living according to

The slogan for this event is “Small Town, Big Ideas” and that is what this event is founded upon. This event is given assistance by companies such as Bank of America, Eversource and New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) representative George Carney was in attendance. “The event was super helpful and gave small businesses an opportunity to reach out in their communities,” Carney said.

According to the most recent United States census the population of Keene, New Hampshire is 23,056 people. This event is in place to showcase each individual business and what they have to offer. This year Radically Rural increased their program track to six programs. These give the community the chance to learn about arts and culture, community journalism, entrepreneurship, Main Street, renewable energy and working lands through a rural lens.

Another opportunity offered at Radically Rural is the PitchFork Challenge. This is a business pitch competition that awards one entrepreneur a $10,000 cash prize for the winning pitch along with a $1,000 cash prize for the winning business idea. Radically Rural attendee Scott Bradford said that he appreciates the benefit of this competition to local people and companies.“It’s really nice to see that the community is able to give back to its local businesses and to help them financially,’’ Bradford said.

This summit, along with its programs and challenges, is an opportunity for sharing ideas about rural living. This event draws speakers from all over the country to talk about  their experiences and successes in business. More information about Radically Rural can be found at

Matt White can be contacted at

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