Entrepreneurship is the cornerstone of American progress. Recognizing that, the Innovation Collaborative has made it our mission to support and promote the creation and development of local businesses in the Erie area. We know from past success in Erie that if we build it, they will come. The converse is equally true. If we, as a region, do not build it, they won’t come. Without enough active support and expertise, our local entrepreneurs cannot succeed as they should. This is where the Innovation Collaborative comes in.
There is an environment in which entrepreneurs thrive. Funding and support are absolutely crucial. Entrepreneurs are most successful when they have access to the right human, financial, and professional resources. Their businesses cannot grow unless they operate in an environment which encourages and safeguards entrepreneurs. This network is described as the “entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
The Innovation Collaborative offers a number of necessary supports to enhance the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. We develop and execute outreach and promotional programs to build a regional culture where entrepreneurship is understood, appreciated, and celebrated. Our activities enhance communication and collaboration between individuals and organizations. We also conduct ongoing inventory, assessment, and publication of the Erie region’s entrepreneurial activities. We provide fundraising and project management resources to further enhance that ecosystem. The skills, time, and money needed to create and grow business must be made available to our local entrepreneurs in order for them to continue and prosper.
The U.S. economy was built on innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit. The railroad, steel, and energy sectors were all driven by research and development to produce better products and production methods. Innovations in electronics, the tech sector, and the internet are equally vital and have increased productivity, quality, and market distribution. Today, industries across all sectors that adopt and rely on innovation pay more, have greater impact on their local economies, and are better positioned to adapt and survive in economic downturns.
Collaboration and innovation are especially crucial because our region no longer competes merely on a local or national level. Our entrepreneurs and businesses must compete globally in order to survive and thrive. Without local business, all other aspects of life in Erie also suffer. We cannot fund schools, charities, or other associations without adequate local dollars infused into the economy.
Entrepreneurs rarely succeed alone. They need a strong network of contacts, business and financial partners, peers, and resources to succeed. Likewise, Erie’s future as a vibrant, creative, and inviting region in which to live, work, and thrive depends upon the success of these entrepreneurs. With your support, the Innovation Collaborative aims to make that not just a possibility, but a reality, tomorrow and for a long time to come.
“…Inspiring a Culture of Entrepreneurship and Innovation!”