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The Midtown Innovation Zone Report 20060404

The Midtown Innovation Zone Report 20060404

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The Midtown Innovation Zone Report, April 2006, written by Betsey Merkel, Co-Founder and Director, the Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open).

This report and the University Circle Innovation Zone initiative developed simultaneously in the Cleveland area. Both zone initiatives were early efforts to build industry networks anchored by partner universities, colleges, and businesses in Northeast Ohio. This is an example of the kind of diverse activity needed to begin to catalyze interest and build open economic networks.
The Midtown Innovation Zone Report, April 2006, written by Betsey Merkel, Co-Founder and Director, the Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open).

This report and the University Circle Innovation Zone initiative developed simultaneously in the Cleveland area. Both zone initiatives were early efforts to build industry networks anchored by partner universities, colleges, and businesses in Northeast Ohio. This is an example of the kind of diverse activity needed to begin to catalyze interest and build open economic networks.

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Published by: Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open) on Jul 22, 2010
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I-Open Innovation Zone Report

Accelerating Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio

April 2006

The Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open) 4415 Euclid Avenue, Suite 310 Cleveland, Ohio 44106 Ph. 216-246-2447 info@i-open.org PROPERTY OF THE INSTITUTE FOR OPEN ECONOMIC NETWORKS (I-OPEN)

Introduction to I-Open Innovation Zones
The Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open) is building Innovation Zones in Northeast Ohio to accelerate entrepreneurial partnerships and collaborations between libraries, universities and local businesses. I-Open has developed a process to cultivate business leadership and sustain innovation and entrepreneurial activity. Innovation Zones integrate business, research, educational and cultural assets that our region has to offer to fuel creativity and innovation. I-Open Innovation Zones are small zones to encourage density and achieve critical mass faster by creating an entrepreneurial culture. Innovation zones provide access to business and opportunities for applied research, case studies and internships and offer colleges and universities a high number of diverse partnership opportunities to connect to business. The I-Open Innovation Framework acts as a guide for investment activity in an innovation zone. With the aid of new measurement tools such as social network mapping, I-Open Strategic Activities allow us 1) to visualize the size and location of social and financial capital, 2) to understand the relationship between sectors of investment, and 3) to measure investments over time. I-Open Civic Forums are the first step in building innovation zones. Weekly forums educate future leaders in Open Source Economic Development and provide a platform for entrepreneurs to practice new behaviors and work together. Simple rules of behavior create a safe neutral place to exchange ideas and build networks. Topics align with the Innovation Framework, introduce global models and communicate topic relationships to economic development and prosperity. I-Open Civic Forums quickly move ideas to action by promptly identifying next steps. People move in the direction of their conversations and, over time, open systems of networked activity coalesce around transformative initiatives. Collaborating individuals and organizations lead innovation supported by an availability of quality, connected workspace, meaningful relationships, and acumen. Individuals and organization need to behave toward one another in ways that build trust and respect. Ethical behavior and compassionate leadership build the quality relationships needed to accelerate idea exchange and begin to seed unprecedented exponential growth of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The I-Open Innovation Zone Model
• • Rebuild a deep, sustained commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation Utilize the region’s unique assets, especially knowledge-based assets such as our colleges, universities and libraries in new and different ways, creating unique value propositions that will attract and retain businesses that create high-paying, new economy jobs. Instill a spirit of lifetime learning in our children, and create a deep regional commitment to flexible, continuous learning. 2



Learn and practice new habits of collaboration among government, non-profit, philanthropic, educational and business organizations.

Strategic Activities and Benchmarks
• Research I-Open is developing a research and laboratory network across Northeast Ohio to promote collaboration and accelerate innovation and entrepreneurial activity. Benchmark: number and quality of researchers committed to the networks. Networks (See attached social maps January 11 and March 22, 2006) Develop and nurture open collaborative networks to accelerate economic development in regions Benchmark: number of networks supported by the Innovation Zone infrastructure. Entrepreneurial Initiatives (See list below) Generate transformational initiatives to leverage new ideas, innovation and business development Benchmark: track each new initiative and its relationship to the Innovation Framework demonstrating location of investment in each quadrant. Development of Online Education Opportunities Position Myers University as a leader in distributing I-Open process and tools for open economic development distance learning applications and desktop training products for academic, industry and government leaders and students nationally. Benchmark: Number and quality of innovative educational programs and participants




•  • Provide safe neutral environments Safe, neutral environments encourage leaders to build trust and collaboration. Engage cross-disciplinary activity Open economic network development is an integration of the humanities, the social sciences and business development. Innovation systems require new skills in network weaving, open economic strategy design, business value building and appreciative leadership. Produce a high volume of activity Open networked systems produce a high volume of activity at any given time increasing the likelihood of social connectivity and emerging innovation. Create open networked hubs Engage grassroots, grass tops and senior level leadership in strategic activities. Build capacity networks Capacity networks provide the infrastructure to connect resources and support services for ongoing group activity. These networks help entrepreneurs to gain access to lab facility and equipment, funding, social connectivity, and access to information. 3




MidTown Innovation Zone Report
First Quarter, January to March 2006 Accelerating Innovation and Entrepreneurship Along the Euclid Corridor

The Midtown Innovation Zone
Midtown Innovation Zone activity began in January 2006 in partnership with Myers University and the City of Cleveland. Since that time open weekly forums created early stage network development and provided the opportunity to learn new practices and tools for economic development. Forums are modeled after the seventeen month pilot process developed at the Case Center for Regional Economic Issues (REI) 2003 through 2005 demonstrating unprecedented exponential growth in innovation and entrepreneurship. Midtown forum topic development has focused on the economic value of citizen journalism; infrastructure innovations for regional sustainability; building quality, connected places for the NEO African American community; creating an informatics culture; strategic networking and social network mapping. Marketing & communications consist of weekly or daily posting to Midtown Wednesday Blog http://www.midtownwednesdays.blogspot.com; the Djembe Project Blog http://www.djembeproject.blogspot.com; posting to regional event calendars; weekly email announcements and press releases to the I-Open opt-in and media mailing lists. Over 400 people have participated in twelve weeks of forums hosting speakers in the following areas: government (2), business (9), civic (7), and academia (2). The Midtown opt-in email list has generated 18,828 media impressions. Weekly social network maps measure the growth of open economic networks and identify people who are connected to each other by idea exchange and resource sharing. (See attached social network maps January 11, 20006 and March 22, 2006) In the second quarter of development (April to June 2006), working groups are applying basic concepts of open source economic development practices and new tools to organize, plan and implement resulting early stage initiatives listed below. Initiatives offer solutions to gaps in infrastructure building necessary to propel NEO forward as a global leader in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Resulting Midtown entrepreneurial initiatives
• NEO University Innovation Café is a co-operative effort of students and alumni from regional universities and colleges. The Café will provide a place for students to work together on innovative projects and initiatives. Centrally located in Midtown, it will offer innovative workspace, public WiFi access, meeting rooms and healthy food. The Djembe Project is a community initiative to strengthen historical African American cultural organizations in Cleveland and spearhead new projects through the strengthening and mapping of social networks. The Center will leverage social networks to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship in NEO. 4



Film and Movie Incubator Independent film company is seeking support to build a film and movie incubator; create a new regional workforce; and produce digital film products. Global Literacy Networks Building global literacy networks around the world to provide for third world children and the opportunity for schools overseas to receive books from the United States. GIS Initiative To identify, build and strengthen social networks between regional leadership investing in GIS capabilities and training; standardize measurements; devise storage and process solutions; identify global models and best practices for regional applications. GreenCityBlueLake http://www.gcbl.org Develop the economic development strategy; leverage an OSED process to achieve a higher level of social engagement to strengthen best practices and the quality of innovational content posted to the community site. Business Innovation Network Develop industry applications of open source tools and practices to inform business leaders the value of collaboration within a corporate entity. Ohio Conference on International Entrepreneurship Fall 2006, hosted in partnership with Cleveland State University will network Associate Deans from Ohio colleges and universities to discuss and learn how to work together to strengthen business schools and faculty curriculum. By working together, academic leadership can leverage region resources and discover collaborative opportunities to compete globally. Research and Lab Network connects academic leaders who adopt I-Open curriculum, support student internships and conduct innovative research. Lab networks connect researchers, innovations, facility and equipment for bioscience, creative digital media, film, technology, etc. These networks will provide infrastructure for innovation zones in other areas of the region such the University Circle zone targeting innovations at the intersections of science and technology. Student Internship Opportunities I-Open is working with regional colleges and universities to develop internship opportunities. Cleveland State University recently hosted an I-Open Research Symposium for CSU faculty and PhD students. Video Game Competition Develop a plan to teach youth how to build video games, web sites and to host the Midtown Gaming Competition. There is an active network of individuals interested in developing a gaming competition.









The I-Open Innovation Zone Network Today
I-Open is building a regional network of Innovation Zones across Northeast Ohio connecting research, resources and capabilities to strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship. A portfolio of transformative initiatives will be developed for each zone. Universities and Colleges located in these zones and will benefit from regional collaborations to build trust accelerating new business opportunities, student internships and best practices. 5

Midtown Innovation Zone The Midtown Innovation Zone is a model for Northeast Ohio. Contributors: Myers University and the Myers University Library, Cleveland State University, The City of Cleveland Status: 1 Qtr. mature In Development: The Berea Innovation Zone Contributors: Baldwin Wallace College Center for Innovation and Growth, the City of Berea, the Berea City School District, the Berea Chamber of Commerce, the Berea Public Library. Status: Ready to begin Innovate! on the Circle Contributors: The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, FUTURE @ The Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), Systems Technology Affiliates (STA) and EcoCity: GreenCityBlueLake, engineering and research. Objective: to explore the intersections between the natural sciences and technology for the creation of new entrepreneurial ventures. Status: Ready to begin Voices in the Valley Contributors: Youngstown State University and the Warren Youngstown Chamber of Commerce. Status: Ready to begin Kent State University and Kent, Ohio Contributors: the Kent State University Department of Economic Development, Kent State University Business School, and the City of Kent. Status: Ready to begin Fairview Park Library and the Fairview Business Leadership Contributors: the Fairveiw Park Library, proposed Chamber of Commerce, local schools and municipal government. Status: Ready to begin Hiram College and Hiram Village and Township Collaboration Status: Ready to begin

Our Opportunity: The Center for Regional Economic Initiatives (REI)
Like the Case REI model, the Midtown Innovation Zone has proven that by leveraging a process of weekly forums, and sharing I-Open practices and tools to support open source economic development, open innovation and entrepreneurship results in a very short period of time. The Midtown Innovation Zone has yielded eleven possible initiatives in twelve weeks of activity. With the proposed additional six Innovation Zones to begin within the next few months, NEO has an opportunity to engage in an extraordinary number of entrepreneurial activities regenerating our region and the country. 6

It is critical that Northeast Ohio support the creation of a center, the Center for Regional Economic Initiatives (REI), to coordinate research, guide leadership, publish issue briefs and policy recommendations. REI will connect resulting innovation and entrepreneurship to research located in our regional colleges, universities and libraries. In addition, expansive new knowledge databases facilitated by advances in technology software, speed, capacity and lower costs, must be constructed to support non-political decision making affecting our limited natural resources. I-Open entrepreneurs are already proposing web based platforms to support global standards for energy, water and modern models for education. The Center for Regional Economic Initiatives is the missing link between research, innovation and entrepreneurship and will provide an invaluable connection to future sustainability.

Next Steps Phase One
• Planning Grant Model Design Process • Engage a group of diverse stakeholders (Our model: CuyahogaNext and the Indiana Humanities and Business Leadership process) • Outcomes Determine scope of REI responsibilities Identify five transformative initiatives

Phase Two
• Determine who will lead REI • Determine funding and resources

I-Open Team
Ed Morrison, Executive Director Email: edmorrison@i-open.org Ed Morrison is co-founder of I-Open based in Northeast Ohio. Until recently, he was Executive Director of the Center for Regional Economic Issues (REI) at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. He holds a BA degree from Yale University and MBA and JD degrees from the University of Virginia. For over nineteen years, he has been conducting strategy projects with economic developers in the U.S. His work won the first Arthur D. Little Award for excellence in economic development presented by the American Economic Development Council. Ed is the architect of the strategic economic development plan for Oklahoma City, and he served as economic development consultant to the Chamber from 1994 to 2002.! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 7

Betsey Merkel, Director / Network Development & Programs Email: betseymerkel@i-open.org Betsey, co-founder of I-Open, the Institute for Open Economic Networks, brings twenty years of business development experience, designing community residencies and ongoing project management in the non-profit sector. Areas of focus include the creative industries, land conservation and water management, the performing arts industry, and architectural restoration. Working with Ed Morrison and the I-Open Team, her approach to network design has created I-Open Civic Forums, catalyzing many diverse projects, proposals and businesses. She designs process to support community engagement and entrepreneurial innovation initiatives. Betsey co-authored "Artist to Artist", a business development seminar supported by the State of Ohio Office of the Governor and the Ohio Arts Council. Betsey earned a Master of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University. Susan Altshuler, Director/Finance & Grants Administration Email: susanaltshuler@i-open.org Susan, co-founder of I-Open, the Institute for Open Economic Networks has over 25 years of office and financial management in both the corporate and nonprofit environments. For the past eight years, Susan worked as Special Assistant under Richard Shatten, Director of REI at Case Western Reserve University from 1998 to 2002, and then under Ed Morrison, Director of REI from 2003 to 2005. Under her management, Susan worked on special projects, programs, and events; led fundraising efforts with the Director to ensure long-term funding by developing funding proposals, identifying significant prospects and managing flow of relationships with donors; coordinated day-to-day activities for REI professional staff; supervised Department staff and student researchers; responsible for grants and contract administration; assisted Director in the hiring and evaluation of staff and researchers. Dennis Coughlin, Director / Administration & Operations Email: denniscoughlin@i-open.org Dennis, co-founder of I-Open, the Institute for Open Economic Networks, has significant experience in operations management with non-profit organizations creating budget proposals, managing staff, developing programs, and analyzing systems. In his positions, he was accountable for all financial operations, including preparing budgets, approving purchases, general accounting, preparation, analyzing and presenting financial statements. He previously worked as a consultant at REI under Ed’s stewardship.


Attachment I-Open Supplemental Materials
The I-Open Model
The I-Open model builds a sustainable process and practical tools for business, civic, government and academic leaders to identify transformative initiative(s) and design next action steps toward 30, 60 and 90-day goals. This replicable process encourages participants to think entrepreneurially and creates cultures capable of identifying business innovations quickly to move forward faster with exceptional business opportunities and exponential growth. I-Open builds open economic networks to engage leaders, to build trust and to model collaborative behaviors enabling working groups to identify transformative initiatives, moving ideas to action. Engagement begins on a grassroots level and progresses out to include all leadership. One Northeast Ohio pilot program, Tuesdays@REI, developed a civic forum process at the Case Center for Regional Economic Issues (REI) between 2003 and 2005. We engaged over 3,000 participants over a seventeen-month period, generating 83,000 media impressions and producing a multitude of initiatives, proposals and new businesses. Over 200 hours of video content of expert presentation was produced from each public program and posted on the Internet for public access. This pilot continued to contribute to a larger leadership process, evolving over nine months into the 2006 Cuyahoga County Commissioner’s Blue Ribbon Task Force. The BRTF embraced over 200 ideas from leaders resulting in five transformative initiatives adopted and funded by Cuyahoga County. A copy of the report can be downloaded off of the County website. Link: http://www.cuyahogacounty.us/bocc/blueribbon.htm

“The open source economic development model suggests that in an innovation economy regions will be transformed by open networks of collaboration with colleges, universities, schools and libraries as hubs in these networks.” – Ed Morrison This approach to knowledge sharing was also practiced by Richard Shatten, late Director of the Center for Regional Economic Issues (REI) at Case Western Reserve University. Shatten had a keen understanding of the business community and the ability to help others bridge the gap between research and practice. He was the guiding hand behind public private partnerships that reinvigorated Cleveland in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Richard taught that meaningful civic activism must ultimately rest on serious economic analysis of the issues. He moved easily from thoughts and ideas to creative action, never loosing sight of the need to build effect networks among people to get things done. Richard’s efforts to bring divergent parties together in meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships are what his colleagues remember best about him. Shatten’s successor, Ed Morrison, continued to build on this legacy until the close of REI in July 2005, by helping people to understand where they fit in to economic development and

the importance of social behaviors as fundamental to the success of open source economics, a new approach to economic development. In Morrison’s twenty-five years as an economic development professional, he has served regions across the nation demonstrating a gifted ability to bridge the gaps between community and leadership and by strategizing practical solutions to tough community problems. Morrison’s innovative approaches to economic development are continuously shaped by advanced theoretical and practitioner research and characterized by a new level of Internet interaction.

Today’s Updates on Research and Practitioner Work
There is significant literature available on social network analysis and innovation. Here is some of the most current news and updates: Valdis Krebs, New York Times, Magazine, 3-12-06, “Can Network Theory Thwart Terrorists?” http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/12/magazine/312wwln_essay.html?ex=1142830800&en =1fe03acd5b49e523&ei=5070&emc=eta1 Valdis Krebs, social network analysis, Business Week article on IBM organizational structure and network mapping, 2-17-06: http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/feb2006/id20060216_633293.htm June Holley at ACE-NET has been working closely with Valdis and applying these tools for several years with good success and anecdotes. June has been involved with I-Open since the beginning. See http://www.acenetworks.org/frames/framesabout.htm June and Valdis presented a lecture to the business school at UCLA and USC last month. On Tuesday afternoon, 2-28-06, Valdis and Ed Morrison will be giving a presentation to a research seminar at the Cleveland State University Business School. At the core of the I-Open approach is the development of open networks of innovation – sometimes called clusters. There is a wealth of information about clusters and networks. This is the core approach of the Council on Competitiveness in Washington. See http://www.compete.org/ This is the core of the Council's regional innovation initiative: http://www.compete.org/nri/ It is also the core of Michael Porter's work. See his book: On Competition. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1998. See also, the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard University. See: http://www.isc.hbs.edu/econ-clusters.htm It is also the basis for the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City: http://www.icic.org You can look to the National Governors Association, as well: http://preview.nga.org/portal/site/nga/menuitem.9123e83a1f6786440ddcbeeb501010a0/? vgnextoid=85e0303cb0b32010VgnVCM1000001a01010aRCRD Cluster based development is strongly supported in the UK: http://www.dti.gov.uk/clusters/ecotec-report/

As for proof that it works, look to Silicon Valley, as documented in Regional Advantage, a book by Anna Lee Saxenian. Her seminal work: Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128 (Harvard University Press, 1994). People of international stature working on this approach right here in Cleveland: Valdis Krebs is a consultant in social network analysis. Valdis Krebs: valdis@orgnet.com David Morganthaler, a venture capitalist, is very strongly supportive of cluster-based development. David Morganthaler: dmorgenthaler@morgenthaler.com Both of these following people have a lot of experience and have thought deeply about these matters. Pete Rea at the Baldwin Wallace Business School. BW has chosen to help incubate I-Open. Peter Rea: prea@bw.edu Ed Morrison has also been working with the new Center for Regional Development at Purdue. Please communicate about Ed’s work with the Director of the Center, Sam Cordes. Sam M. Cordes smcordes@purdue.edu Ed Morrison developed this approach over the past seven years working in the field. Please communicate with JR Wilhite, the Commissioner for Community Development in Kentucky's Cabinet for Economic Development. J.R. Wilhite JR.Wilhite@ky.gov For success stories about this approach working in Cleveland, explore the case of Herb Crowther and Midwest BioFuels. He went from an idea to pumping biodiesel in five months. Herb Crowther hcrowther@capling.com Norm Roulet and Peter Holmes, of Real NEO http://realneo.us who are looking at this issue from the community computing side. What types of infrastructure do we need to support dozens of clusters? Norm Roulet norm@realinks.us Peter Holmes pholmes@realinks.us The open question is how can we create, nurture, sustain (choose your verb) new clusters in Cleveland and the County? That's what I-Open is focusing on.

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