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An Invitation to Leaders to Learn How to Use Entrepreneurship to Drive Economic Growth

Posted on Jan 26, 2016 in Articles, Uncategorized

Original published on Linked In January 19, 2016 Babson College is an acknowledged leader in entrepreneurship education. What is less well known is that Babson, for example via the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project (BEEP), has been innovating the use of entrepreneurship for economic development, but with a twist: Rather than increasing the growth of new firms, BEEP has been focusing on increasing new growth in firms, new and existing. The results of several years of work in Manizales-Mas and Scale Up Milwaukee have been very encouraging. The background. Until recently, regional[1] strategies for economic development have included encouraging direct investment, attracting new business and retaining existing business. Last week’s headlines of General Electric’s move to Boston are testimony to the fact that these strategies are alive and well [AND EXPENSIVE. See Richard Florida’s piece here]. More recently the role...

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Scale Up Ambition Leads to Scale Up Results

Posted on Jan 26, 2016 in Articles, Uncategorized

Original appeared on LinkedIn January 11, 2016 Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Scale Up mindset and Scale Up ambition are important. I recently read an important study reporting a meta-analysis of many studies in a variety of countries. The researchers from the ERC in the UK looked at the relationship between entrepreneurs’ expectations for their upcoming growth, and their actual subsequent  growth. The conclusion: actual subsequent growth (revenues) is predicted by intentions or expectations of growth, in particular when the motivation of the entrepreneurs is to generate wealth, that is, be successful as a business (as opposed to becoming one’s own boss). In other words, those entrepreneurs who want to and expect to scale up, have a higher probability of doing so, all else being equal. The predictive correlation is in the .25-.35 range. I have little doubt...

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Using Supply Chains to Scale Up Your Business

Posted on Dec 4, 2015 in Articles, Harvard Business Review

By Daniel Isenberg and Timothy Coates   This article appeared on November 20, 2015 in the Harvard Business Review. Until a few years ago Steve Cronce’s Raphael Industries did $1 million dollars a year of specialized industrial painting for customers within driving distance of their plant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. One of them happened to be GE Healthcare, which sent Raphael “dead” X-Ray tube parts for re-coating and re-commissioning. Challenged by other entrepreneurs in Scale Up Milwaukee’s Scalerator program to come up with a plan for rapidly ramping up his business, Cronce wondered: “What if I redefined Raphael as a strategic link in the global medical imaging supply chain, rather than as a paint shop?” This supply chain epiphany is taking Raphael toward $10 million of work a year by burrowing into GE’s global network as well as serving its competitors. He...

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The Right Way to Plan an Innovation Tour

Posted on Dec 3, 2015 in Articles, Authored, Harvard Business Review

This article by Daniel Isenberg first appeared in the Harvard Business Review July 7, 2015. Innovation tourism: it’s a thing. The tourists are entrepreneurs looking for the right economic microclimate to start a business; corporate scouts looking to expand their company’s reach or improve their supply chain; policy makers trying to figure out the right balance of rules and infrastructure to create a thriving economy; investors searching for the next crop of opportunities. These well-intentioned professionals travel the world in pursuit of the secret sauce of innovation. Typically, tourism involves guided tours, pitch events, conferences with lots of panels, and well-planned visits to companies, universities, and government agencies tasked with increasing entrepreneurship and innovation. The problem is, all of these good people are often guided to see a distorted reality. Not that more formalized presentations and assessments are necessarily Potemkin...

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