Archive for August, 2011

Our Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Posted: August 28, 2011 by Bill Cunningham in People, Planning, Startup

The natural world abhors a vacuum. And if you are a fan of Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand,” you will find the entrepreneur world also fills voids and gaps in its environment. Jack Wyant, founder of Blue Chip Venture Company, presented an overview of the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to the Greater Cincinnati Venture Association back in 2001. He described the ecosystem as a 9 piece interlocking puzzle with many sectors, industries and people involved. The GCVA continues to update the state of the ecosystem every year, and I would like to share with you the richness of our region and just how far we have travelled on the entrepreneurial journey. The nine pieces include Universities, Government, Angel Investors, VC Funds, Incubators, Events, Grassroots Initiatives, Networks and Support Groups. I’ll cover the first four this week and continue the discussion in a future column.


No other region in the country enjoys the privilege of 5 universities that ranked in the top 25 entrepreneurial programs over the last 10 years (UD, XU, UC, NKU and MU.) The university programs offer tools and connections to students giving them a solid foundation for their entrepreneurial adventures. While it is difficult to teach the passion and inspiration, our universities do a great job of attracting students with those qualities.


E- Wannabe

Posted: August 22, 2011 by John Clarkin in Innovation, People, Planning, Startup

Why would anyone not want to be an entrepreneur? Many entrepreneurs make a fortune before they reach the age of 30, government agencies are created to help them, and politicians design policies to encourage them. College students enroll in classes to learn how to become an entrepreneur, in the hope of joining others in today’s Hall of Fame for business. It seems that everyone (including this group of authors) wants to write about them, hear more about them, and celebrate them. You can find many entrepreneurial tales on our website,!  What’s not to like about being an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs get media attention for their successes, while press coverage of corporate executives is often limited to testimonies before Congress. Gone are the days when the CEOs of GM, GE, and Exxon represented the face of American business. Larry Page and Sergy Brin (Google), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), and Steve Jobs (Apple) have replaced Roger Smith (GM), Jack Welch (GE), and Rex Tillerson (Exxon/Mobil) as the icons of American business today. What do we know about entrepreneurs and the businesses they create?


Why Plan?

Posted: August 15, 2011 by Chuck Matthews in Planning, Startup