During this session, attendees from EPSCoR jurisdictions are invited to discuss barriers and successes in increasing research competitiveness, commercialization of EPSCoR research, and relationships with innovation and entrepreneurial support organizations, and economic development organizations.
This roundtable provides an opportunity for Arkansas attendees to network with peers from around the state, discuss the importance of technology and innovation, and consider how to make the most... Read More
This roundtable will feature a series of attendee-driven conversations. Topics may include: attracting co-investors; sources of funding for administrative and services costs; and, trends in valuations and exits.
During this interactive session, attendees will discuss perceptions and obstacles to effective collaborations between academia and economic development organizations, resources needed for successful innovation and commercialization activities, and how to build productive, equitable relationships with local, state, and federal partners.
This open discussion for state tech-based economic development leaders will focus on topics identified by those attending the meeting. Topics might range from coordinating the federal funds flowing to the states, communicating the value of your programs to specific operational issues.
Get out and see the Innovation Hub, Arkansas’ first makerspace, which provides tools and training to entrepreneurs, students and other makers, preparing them to join and grow Arkansas’s economic ecosystem. Attendees will convene in front of the Marriott at 3:00 to depart by a chartered trolley for a tour of the STEAM-focused facility located at 204 E 4th St., North Little Rock, and learn about its impact on the regional economy.
After the past two years, when all of us were caught up in, concentrating on, or simply surviving the pandemic, politics, and global pandemonium, we will spend the opening morning of the conference building a new TBED commons. With record levels of federal and state funding available for strategic investment right now, there is a tremendous opportunity to be savored or squandered. It will take a broad community effort to get this right. The TBED community, a TBED commons, focusing on the future, can do this.
SSTI's annual conference provides an excellent place to start that effort. Past attendees and SSTI members know a unique community emerges during each of our annual conferences. Let's capitalize on it. This year's theme and the morning session is focusing on the future, recognizing and shaping how we move ahead, move up, move forward.
SSTI's president, Dan Berglund, will share his perennially popular thoughts on arising issues and trends in TBED policy and practice coming out of the past two years, drawing on special expert guests and long-time friends along the way. Then, tapping the extraordinary talent in attendance and working with specially invited participants, we'll explore fresh ideas, varying perspectives, find new partners, shore up solid facts, and share some laughs as we focus on the future we all want.
SSTI and the Arkansas Research Alliance are pleased to welcome Carter Malloy, founder and CEO of AcreTrader, as the keynote speaker for the 2022 Annual Conference. AcreTrader addresses the high cost of entry and the burden of farm management that keeps farmland inaccessible to the average investor. At the same time, it provides an opportunity to provide farmers with innovative routes to capital for expansion.
In other words, Carter Malloy is applying his experience in finance, tech and agriculture to focus on the future — helping make the oldest industry there is more innovative.
When a region identifies a new TBED need, questions arise as to which existing organization and staff have the right expertise, availability and mindset to achieve success. Public and non-profit entities are often the answer, because these organizations are well-suited to keeping the initiative's focus on local prosperity, making long-term commitments, and weathering periods of low program income. However, a growing number of for-profit firms are offering to provide regions with innovation-entrepreneur support services, to direct local investment funds and to manage high-quality R&D facilities while balancing profit and economic development goals. Results for communities are, frankly, mixed. During this highly interactive session, we'll work openly and honestly with selected pros to develop takeaways toward the benefits and trade-offs for when and when not to contract, the hard questions to ask candidate firms, and the dos and don'ts before handing over your local TBED service delivery.
R&D is risky and costly – and getting more expensive each year, particularly lab facilities, equipment, and other instrumentation. Fortunately, there is a way to stretch R&D investments while also encouraging collaboration. We’ll explore transferable approaches that are being used to connect university researchers with one another, specialized research facilities and equipment and with innovation-centered industry to lower costs and broaden research capabilities. Bring questions, share your ideas, and learn from practitioners who have stood up shared facilities programs to benefit their regions.
The “venture development organization” label describes an entity that offers broadly similar services (technology development, entrepreneurial support and capital access), but the legal structures composing VDOs can vary greatly. This facilitated discussion will consider the benefits and disadvantages of leveraging different legal structures, including subsidiary entities, for-profits and CDFIs, to support a VDO’s work.
Thirty-six states have gubernatorial elections this year — creating a significant opportunity to put science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship on your state’s agenda. Join your peers from around the country to discuss strategies and tactics for how to help candidates and new governors recognize the value of investing in TBED and promoting these policies in their platforms and budgets. Participants will have an opportunity to begin workshopping a strategy to employ back at home.
While you’re here in Arkansas, let’s complete your trip with a spin through the Natural State’s innovation network. You can choose your own adventure as you explore the ways Arkansas drives its new-age economy. Interactive group discussions will break down big questions, such as: “How can public-private partnerships advance innovation in key economic sectors?”, “How does a researcher make the jump to entrepreneur?”, and “Where is startup capital in the Heartland?”. Like any worthwhile travel experience, we’ll compare notes and see if your landscape back home is so different from Arkansas’. If so, how, and what can we learn from one another?
A strong innovation economy needs a robust research enterprise, so universities, state EPSCoR programs and economic development organizations focused on encouraging economic growth through science and technology are natural allies. In this session, we’ll examine how some state EPSCoR programs and economic development groups have come to align their goals particularly through the strategic planning process to accomplish both their objectives.
Given higher education’s role in generating the knowledge and supporting the scientific personnel that catalyze the innovative new technologies developed by high-growth startups, the nation’s colleges and universities are invaluable assets to regional innovation economies. Some universities have moved beyond the traditional R&D role to further support local innovation systems by launching in-house venture capital funds and investing directly into the high-tech startups that leverage university IP. In this session, we will learn from several university VCs that are capitalized with university money, take equity or provide convertible debt, focus on university IP and/or faculty, and are managed by a university team. We will hear about the lessons learned in starting such a fund, navigating the web of partnerships and priorities, how “success” is defined, and other relevant topics.
In 2021, Congress passed billions in new funding for innovation and entrepreneurship. While the federal government works to implement those acts, Congress is moving forward with new budgets and new authorities, including the U.S. Innovation and Competitiveness Act. During this session, sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, we will cover the outlook for Congressional action to support entrepreneurship and SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council priorities.
Join your colleagues at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum for a special reception hosted by the Arkansas Research Alliance. We will have a chance to enjoy some local Arkansas flavor and tour the museum, while catching up with old friends and making new ones.
Kansas State University embraced the call from the state’s Board of Regents to develop a plan that would build the economic prosperity of the state. Dubbed 3k3B, the resulting strategy is expansive, bringing new thinking to the state’s areas of strength to support the creation of 3,000 direct jobs and $3 billion in direct investment to Kansas. Hear from those behind the plan, learn what elements went into the design and planning process, and broaden your own thinking into the roles that the university and its research capabilities can play in driving a state’s economy.
Research shows that diversity inherently drives innovation. Yet in 2022, Black, Latino, and women entrepreneurs are still not participating at optimal levels in the innovation space. How can we change this dynamic and achieve greater equity and inclusion in our organizations, our portfolios and the broader innovation community? In this panel discussion, you will learn actionable steps to improve your organization’s social impact from a select group of organizations that are successfully working to attract and support underrepresented startup founders.
Most economic development and innovation-focused organizations are long overdue for better metrics, metrics that drive positive change and greater impact from the public investments made into the initiatives. But where to start? What to pick? How to measure? Armed with the best from IRIS and an SSTI survey of common impact measures in current practice, session participants will -- together -- identify the next best system for measuring progress, impact and performance.
Among the things the pandemic brought into clear focus was how fragile our supply chains are — and for the general public, awareness of the term "supply chain." A suite of new approaches has been launched by the federal government to strengthen manufacturing with particular focus on workforce, supply chains and technology. In this session, we'll take a look at what has been launched, what Congress is still considering, and where the future might take us.
Numerous federal initiatives support hundreds of research, innovation and entrepreneurship programs and facilities across the country – why not add your university and/or organization to the mix to expand your capacity to achieve even greater impact? During this session, participants will have an opportunity to participate in small group discussions with federal officials to learn more about their programs, priorities, and funding opportunities.
According to data from the Kauffman Fellows Research Center, “Ethnically diverse startup founding teams and executive teams both raise more money from and provide higher returns for investors.” While Black, Latino, women and Tribal Nation entrepreneurs enjoyed a small portion of the explosion in 2021 venture capital, many of these founders still consistently experience barriers accessing risk capital. How can we change this dynamic? Change toward increasing your social impact may start from the lessons and advice shared by the venture development organizations participating in this interactive discussion.
At least 53 communities in 24 states and Puerto Rico are seeking new residents through remote work by offering cash, covering moving costs or providing other incentives. Other communities, particularly in rural areas, have launched initiatives preparing a remote workforce to remain in town. Though the idea of remote work and talent attraction of those workers started before the pandemic, COVID-19 has accelerated the movement. What is working and what does the future look like in talent attraction and remote workforce development? How has remote work spurred states to attract talent? And how are educational institutions working with industry and preparing workers for this new phase? Join this group of leaders who are working to revitalize their regions through innovative remote workforce initiatives.
Billions of dollars are being spent by federal, state and local governments, universities and the private sector in regions all across the country to support a diverse pool of more than 1,000 programs and initiatives dedicated to increasing local, innovation-driven entrepreneurship. Leadership models to ensure the shared grand vision for their region is achieving the desired effectiveness from all of those activities and investments vary substantially. In this session we'll dive into two approaches to regional coordination that are simultaneously achieving near-term results and long-term positive change, but probably not without a few knocks, bumps and pivots along the way toward their record of success.
Join your fellow attendees for a closing session that will recap lessons learned over the course of the conference and provide some final perspective on the outlook for tech-based economic development in the rest of 2022.