Reflection on the IEDC Annual Conference: Day Two

This week, I’m sharing my experiences from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) 2010 Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio.

Day 2:

It was a gloomy start with temperatures around 60 and rain but my morning tour of Technology and Higher Education really stood out in the trip. We toured the Ohio Supercomputer Center, TechColumbus, and the Dublin Entrepreneurial Center (DEC). All three locations were very unique in their infrastructure and mission. TechColumbus leverages the assets of The Ohio State University, the Battelle, and the Columbus Research Institute to support and provide resources critical to emerging technology businesses. This was a nice tour to compare with our own incubators and business accelerator services. The DEC resulted from the city of Dublin’s vision of a vacant building being a hub of entrepreneur activity. The space was first class at a rate that a start-up can afford. The city definitely has a long-term plan in place for the rapid growth they are experiencing.

Throughout the tour one attraction item became very obvious, FIBER! With the A2Fiber initiative active in Ann Arbor, it was very eye opening to see that Dublin is utilizing dark fiber (unused optical fiber) in their community. Dublin owns the conduit and fiber that has allowed them to attract hundreds of jobs from a hospital and health system project.

The day continued with sessions on: The KISS Approach to BRE, Leveraging the Job Creation Power of High-Growth Firms, Partnering to Meet University and Community Real Estate Development Needs and of course lots more networking!

SPARK Incubator tenant launches UM “Hail to the Victor’s: 106,201 world record” campaign announces today the official launch of the “Hail to the Victors: 106,201 Campaign”, a grassroots project that aims to set a new world record for most ringtones played simultaneously. The campaign plans to bring together 106,201 University of Michigan students, alumni and fans to download “The Victors” ringtone free of charge to their mobile phones prior to the Ohio State-University of Michigan game at Michigan Stadium on November 21, 2009. During the game, shortly before halftime, all fans in attendance will be invited to play the ringtone to generate unprecedented noise and support for the University of Michigan football team. A Guinness Book of World Records representative will be present to verify that the event indeed sets a world record.

The campaign is being carried out for three primary reasons: a) To support the University of Michigan football team and generate excitement among the fans in order to stop the 5-year losing streak to Ohio State University; b) To, for a moment, take the minds of everyone off the dire economy in the State of Michigan and put a smile on our faces; and c) To show the entire state and country that great things can be achieved in Michigan if we think outside the box and create innovative ideas.

To access “The Victors” ringtone and support the campaign, either:
1) Click on the “Hail to the Victors: 106,201 Campaign” graphic on the homepage.
2) Go directly to is a Michigan-based global mobile entertainment Web site which allows users to upload, customize and create free mobile media (ringtones, etc.) from their personal files or search and send multimedia from a user-generated portfolio of 18,000 files. They have also created a social dynamic that establishes a community of users that have the same interests. Moreover, they provide an avenue for musicians and bands to convert their original music into mobile content and make them instantly available to fans. Since their official launch in March 2009, they have grown from an unknown domain in the marketplace, to being utilized 40,000 times a month in over 150 countries.