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August 15, 2011

Comments

Helene Rude

Irving, with regard to your comments toward the end of this post about small companies interacting with large ones via the supply chain ("It is also an opportunity to be part of the supply chain and overall business ecosystem of existing companies....
Large companies are increasingly disaggregating and relying on business partners for many functions once done in-house, opening up many new kinds of opportunities for startups."), as you know.... we at SUNY Levin Institute came to learn of an initiative called “Supplier Connection” (http://www.supplier-connection.net/SupplierConnection/index.html) which aims to stimulate exactly what you describe.

It was announced in September '10 by a group of six large corporations, and launched at the end of 1Q11. When the program was announced, it was done so in conjunction with a report by the Center for an Urban Future entitled “Breaking into the Corporate Supply Chain” (http://www.nycfuture.org/images_pdfs/pdfs/BreakingIntoSupplyChain.pdf) and around the time launch of the Supplier Connection web portal, another report by Center for an Urban Future was released, this one entitled “Giving Small Firms the Business” (http://nycfuture.org/content/articles/article_view.cfm?article_id=1280).

I know you know about this initiative and reports from our conversations, but for other readers out there, both of these reports are excellent reading, and bolster the case for helping small companies enter into large corporate Supply Chains, and the resulting economic impacts in terms of jobs and revenue growth.

We are looking forward to developing an educational program to support this initiative here in NYC in order to help small companies reap the benefits, and help put New Yorkers back to work.

Helene

Jim Spohrer

I like your concept of "urban innovation center" and would just add that improving quality-of-life measures in high-density regions of the world is both (1) increasingly important as the number of mega-cities grows and (2)likely to require a great deal of technology and business model innovation. Probably, a focus on sustainability and resiliency may be needed as well.

To your point about the importance of universities, the Coalition of Urban-Serving Universities(http://www.usucoalition.org/) and University-Based Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (http://blogs.babson.edu/facultyblog/2010/11/11/university-based-entrepreneurship-ecosystems-book-co-edited-by-babson-professors-fetter-greene/) are relevant resources.

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