Thursday, April 02, 2009

a tale of three cities

Monday's Sound of Ideas program on 90.3 WCPN featured a tale of two cities, with representatives from both Cleveland and Pittsburgh discussing recent media perceptions on the relative progression of Pittsburgh vs. the relative calamity in Cleveland.

A must-listen for anyone interested in the Tech Belt.
audio here.

One might summarize the discussion in the program as such:

technology-based economic development is a long-term process, that when done right, yields long-term growth. Pittsburgh, with state support, made investments two decades ago that are now paying off. Cleveland has made similar investments in the last five years.

This overt generalization though does raise this question:

If Pittsburgh began this region-wide push xxx years ago, and Cleveland began this region-wide push xxx years ago, when will the Mahoning Valley begin this push?

We are seeing signs of life out there in the Valley.

An incubator success here, an earmark for research there, a nice speech here, but can this push be larger from the region as a whole?

a full-court press if you will?

- how does the Youngstown region market itself from a tech perspective?
- how do Youngstown tech companies communicate their needs and share information?
- how can local tech entrepreneurs access funds to develop a market assessment or proof of concept?
- who is an advocate for the Youngstown tech community with ODOD and the Third Frontier in Columbus?
- who is coordinating attempts to acquire stimulus funds for regional economic development projects?

Are these real gaps, or minuscule ones?

perhaps what is needed is an organizing collaborative for the local tech community...

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