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:
Last week, I shared the results of an Abell Foundation study comparing Baltimore’s innovation ecosystem with the more established community found in Boston. While the authors undertook a fair comparison and outlined what they viewed as the initiatives needed to accelerate Baltimore’s innovation community, Baltimore already has assets that make us well situated for a promising future; assets, which if marketed correctly, might help us solve some of the very challenges the report identified.
Courtesy Citybizlist – Approximately fourteen years ago, Randi Pupkin gave up her career as an active and successful litigation attorney to found and work full time for Art with a Heart. Today, the not-for-profit organization with a stated mission of “enhancing the lives of people in need through visual art,” is responsible for programing more than 7,100 separate art classes on an annual basis and has countless stories of “steering lives on the proper path” through building strong and life-long relationships with its students.
Q. Fair to say that practicing law full time wasn’t your passion? A. I affectionately refer to myself as a runaway attorney. I made a go of it for almost 14 years and even had my own firm for half of my law career. For the most part, practicing law, for me, was a grind and I truly think the civil court system is broken. Still, I learned a great deal about how to navigate certain experiences and situations that I would never have had but for my practice. These lessons are invaluable to my every day work.
Courtesy Citybizlist – Who would have imagined that co-working had arrived in the world of brewing beer? I had a chance to wander around one of the nation’s first cooperative breweries, sample beers made by what one would otherwise assume are competitors and yet were made collaboratively in adjoining tanks. It’s a fascinating story of following one’s passion, never wavering from making a product that you believe in, one of sharing expertise and equipment, all with the curious aftertaste of rapid growth. And as the news of what they were doing spread, other brewers are lining up to work together. Patrick Beille’s story, and this column, isn’t about beer, it’s about what happens when entrepreneurs in the same “competitive” market figure out how to collaborate and as a result success is unleashed.
Courtesy of Bmore Media – One Towson company makes games. Another, in Columbia, manufactures a “smart” sports glove. The other two, in Baltimore and Catonsville, sell alternative energy and weather information. As diverse as they sound, they share a common trait – they’re all young, innovative companies that are growing.
Johnetta Hardy is a woman on a mission. She believes there is an entrepreneur inside everyone and not just business students. She talks about the entrepreneurial skill set, which she thinks can be learned.
Hardy was named director of the University of Baltimore’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in August. With the backing of the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of BusinessDean Darlene Smith, under whose aegis the center operates, she is expanding the center’s workshops, adding more entrepreneurs on site to mentor students and making the center’s programs accessible throughout the school.
Bob Parsons was once just another Highlandtown kid who was scared of the mean nuns at his Catholic school, joined the military after graduating, and worked at Bethlehem Steel after returning from Vietnam. But his story has a different ending than most: last year, he sold the majority of Go Daddy, his domain registration company, for $2.25 billion, and gave $1 million of that to his alma mater, the University of Baltimore, to endow a professorship. So how exactly did Parsons get from there to here?