On Leadership: Developing an Innovation District

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Philly is planning one. Boston already has one, so does Austin. We don’t; neither does Silicon Valley: finally we have something in common. So the question begged (among several) is why would any city need an innovation district…

Innovation Districts. This isn’t some “me too” conversation. Leading cities have realized that the key to fostering (and growing) their innovation community increasingly requires not only an appreciation of how their innovation ecosystem functions but a cohesive strategy of what that community (government, business organizations, non-profits, etc.) can do to drive its vibrancy. One increasing realization is the importance of geography (where the district is located) and the stakeholders (who is helping) to fostering innovation – these areas are being labeled as Innovation Districts, with the following key elements:

• They’re where entrepreneurs want to be (not necessarily where some stakeholder wishes they would show up)

• They’re curated not controlled – i.e., incubators, accelerators, funders, support organizations and the like compete with each other in the district for mindshare and relevance – the goal of these districts is to ensure the cream rises to the top as fast as possible no matter who makes that happen – competition among support organizations for the best entrepreneurs and ideas raises the bar

• They’re designed for a continuing process of business formation and growth vs. filling up with companies that crowd out others

Read more at Citybizlist



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