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Innovation: Coming to a City Near You?

Anna Mason on what drives innovation for America’s *other* cities

The Rise of the Rest tour has already covered cities in every region of the country. Find out what they learned in your city: https://www.riseofrest.com/chapters/

We invited Revolution’s Anna Mason to the Inside/Outside Innovation Summit to present learnings from the Rise of the Rest Tour.

We spend time engaged in thoughtful and spirited discussion to learn what makes each city unique and successful. We discuss both challenges and opportunities for the future. The day is a success if we are able to help validate and spotlight each city’s efforts to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

From their more than two-dozen stops, Revolution’s team has identified seven essential elements to any innovation ecosystem. Anna outlined each:

  1. Incubators, accelerators, bootcamps, co-working spaces: these serve as physical support infrastructures for the communities
  2. Regional investors: professionally managed entities, corporate venture arms, angel groups, public or private funds
  3. Universities: multi-faceted — provide people, place, technology, and familial network
  4. Startups: create hubs of innovation simply by existing
  5. Media — local & national: champion early successes of startups
  6. Local government
  7. Corporations: here is the CB Insights Corporate Venture report Anna mentions in her presentation

She expands on each in the video below.

Other Notes from Anna’s Remarks

  • “High growth companies can start and scale anywhere, not just in the coastal cities where we see 75% of investment capital go.”
  • The legacy of Fortune 500’s help create specialized backyards for startups: look at healthcare in Nashville, fintech in Atlanta & St. Louis, manufacturing in Detroit
  • 85% of Fortune 500 Companies are located outside of Silicon Valley, New York, & Boston

Big thanks to Anna, Revolution, and everybody who participated in the Rise of the Rise Tour for helping accelerate emerging startup ecosystems. This has been a popular topic of late, so we’ve included links to the best discussions and research on how any city might promote and host innovation.

More on Innovation Clusters / Startup Ecosystems

(Tip: sign up for our newsletter if you like lists like this)

“The Next Silicon Valley” — Masters of Scale Podcast with Reid Hoffman: Reid calls on friends and colleagues to argue for the next Silicon Valley. Tel Aviv? New York? Y Combinator’s Sam Altman says Los Angeles.

(above) McKinsey & Co’s Global Innovation Heat Map — larger image

Lean Startup & Innovation Ecosystem author Tristan Kromer on the I/O Innovation Podcast— Tristan writes often about these topics. Follow his blog GrasshopperHerder.

Financing Innovation in the United States — This book is written in standalone chapters which is always nice. Chapter 2 on the development of the automotive industry and innovation cluster in Detroit is highly recommended. (We have an extra copy. If you are interested let us know and we can mail it!)

Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest initiative— “Our view is that this is the beginning of a new era for the entrepreneurship across the U.S. — high-growth companies can now start and scale anywhere, not just in a few coastal cities.”

Michael Porter’s HBR article on “Clusters” — Clusters are geographic concentrations of interconnected companies and institutions in a particular field. Clusters encompass an array of linked industries and other entities important to competition.

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