I was able to present my work on developing innovation ecosystems to some board representatives of ITASCA at the McKinsey offices in downtown Minneapolis. The presentation covered many aspects including:
- Key global trends in innovation
- USA based examples of innovation ecosystem investment and approaches
- Minnesota strengths, weaknesses and gaps in our current ecosystem
- The core lifecycle of services needed and the role the university and other partners could play
- The new funding models for a sustainable lifecycle
- International partnership interest in supporting our building out of services
- Supporting technology platforms
The Q&A was very engaged and explored deeper insights into the model and what is blocking progress within the region. There was also good discussion around governance aspects of the model and role of government, NGOs and private institutions roles within supporting the ecosystem. In many cases the catalysts for starting a “shift” in ecosystem development begins in the culture and leadership spaces. New business behaviors, language, and values have to proceed for stakeholders to understand the roles they need to play in both facilitating the change and support the new models once in place.
This was the first in a growing list of public and private institution and foundation conversations that will be proceeding the development of multiple advisory and operational boards created to support a larger regional strategy for developing an innovation ecosystem.
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