Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bonjour A Montreal!

Here at the international meetings of the Academy of Management (nothing like 11,000+ eggheads) -one of the largest divisions is the Entrepreneurship Division. Cool stuff already - Friday was a panel on best practice in teaching social & sustainable entrepreneurship, then lots of discussions of policy issues (more powerful intel on how entrepreneurs create jobs but ALSO how to advance entrepreneurial job creation that has continued into Saturday. Lots to bring back for the Innovation Council, et al.!)

This is a delightful crew -- big brains, even bigger hearts (just like many of you!)

Some of the people here are deeply involved with the programs that FUND entrepreneurial development. The latest salvo from the Kauffman Foundation [ link] noted their increasing role in driving the agenda for programs like NSF's Partnerships for Innovation. Kauffman has a key member of the President's new innovation council; he's here along with tech commercialization/entrepreneurship guru, my friend Dave Audretsch. I will be picking their brains to see how we can maximize Idaho's chances for getting some serious "Other People's Money"!

MUCH money is on the table - foundations fed, even private sector. Shouldn't we be working hard to go after this??EDA , SBA & the US Depts of Commerce & Energy are also here - interestingly, their preferences re what they fund is increasingly similiar & simllar to Kauffman, NSF, etc.. Again, it's surprisingly clear what they'd like to fund & that should be a good reason for us to be optimistic!

Interesting new data tidbit: Gross job creation is driven by startups but long-term net job creation depends overwhelmingly on firms that grow (*regardless* of age/size). That means newer firms are much more volatile -more exit & more grow. Thus, while we need to encourate startups.. we also need to grow existing firms. But both require... entrepreneurial thinking and an entrepreneur-friendly ecosystem. We know how to help both - the costs are minimal - but we have to DO it.


p.s. WHO should be leading the charge? Heard a great analogy using the "will run through brick walls" metaphor...

Running Through Brick Walls - Find people who'll do it for free (so many of my friends here in the entrepreneurship world are like me -- essentially we'll PAY to run through the brick walls, LOL)


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