Akron's emerging networks of entrepreneurs

Submitted by Ed Morrison on Sun, 03/12/2006 - 08:15.

A good discussion appears this morning in the Akron Beacon Journal on the emergence in Akron/Canton of a new effort to promote networks of entrepreneurs. The mere fact that the meeting took place -- and the published transcripts appear in the paper-- provide some sense that this effort will succeed. Read more. Read the transcript. The newspaper even includes audio clips of the proceedings.

Contrast new initiatives are handled in Cleveland: Largely behind closed doors. While Akron is moving ahead with new collaborations on entrepreneurship, Cleveland's business and political leadership are meeting at the Union Club to engineer a plan to get casinos on the November ballot.

In our region, truly valuable innovations are happening on the edges: Akron, Lorain, Youngstown.

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Innovation everywhere - networks weaving that together

Thanks for pointing this out - I don't see much of what is going on in Akron, but I'm a fan of the work Rebecca Ryan did there (some of what is mentioned in the article was recommended in her analysis) and the mayor is a go getter. This is hopeful, and their chamber seems very creative.


But I see things changing in the same ways here - we just have more conversations happening at once (bigger hub of the region) so it feels less connected. I have a huge active network and so do the people I work with and they have overlaps and disconnects - I'm not in the Union Club Convention Center Crowd but people in my networks are and I influence them, so I'm there.


What I'm always waiting for is not the "leaders" to come together but the people to come together with enough force and forethought and collaborative energy to accomplish big things. From one man like Ed Hauser saving Whiskey Island, alone, to many people now exploring the future of planning here, so we don't have more "Battles of Whiskey Islands", we are becoming better at grass roots communication, collaboration, and invention - the innovation is actually all happening at the center, virtually, and very nicely.