How Would You Spend $4 Million?
May 16, 2011
If you wanted to transform your city into a thriving hub of economic activity -- and you had access to $4 million to spend however you wanted -- where would you start?
Norris Krueger, a researcher and tireless advocate for entrepreneurship who serves as GEW/USA’s Regional Coordinator for Idaho, is helping pose that question to Boise (and the rest of the state, as well).
The challenge is meant to look for a more entrepreneurial approach to economic growth than the city is currently getting from its local economic development group. Krueger argues that the Boise Valley Economic Partnership recently spent $5 million that according to him attracted "basically 3 firms" and that the group is now seeking an additional $4 million.
Is that the right approach? Do you need to spend $4 million or can you get away with less?
A local Boise venture capitalist has suggested a new program in materials science (with a price tag of roughly $2 million). Krueger seems to wonder if entrepreneurship training programs would be a great investment, considering that Boiseans are "pretty good at ideation but lousy at execution."
[I might argue in favor of a stipend for GEW Regional Coordinators to facilitate greater community involvement and collaboration through Global Entrepreneurship Week... of course, my opinion is somewhat biased.... although I'm sure Krueger wouldn't mind.]
If you want to contribute to the Boise discussion, they would love to have you at the TechBoise Open Coffee Club on LinkedIn. If you would rather jumpstart a conversation about your city or state, leave your ideas in the comments field here.
['Boise at night' photo courtesy of brianjacobsen]