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Tag Archives: Public Private Partnerships
Orange County is expected to export nearly $25 billion in 2014, led by $7 billion from the tech sector alone. So how does a new company enter the complicated global market while at the same time facing all of the other challenges of starting a business? Enovant Foundation, the Community Vitalization Council and the Small Business Administration (SBA) have teamed up in support the launch of the International Business Accelerator (IBA). The IBA is the first program of its kind program in the US to combine the techniques of early-stage business acceleration with the tools to develop global markets. The three organizations signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum on August 29 in Irvine to launch the initiative.
In its current pilot phase, IBA is working with two start ups. The IBA plans to enter full operations in early 2015 and looks to replicate its program at other locations across the US. International business is frequently thought of as a second step in the launch process, but research has shown that a successful launch requires that international business be thoroughly integrated into business processes from the beginning.
The IBA is a joint venture of Enovant (Foundation for Everyday Innovation) and the Community Vitalization Council (CiViC 180), and supported by K5Launch, a Southern California accelerator. The IBA will work with companies to identify appropriate international markets, find distributors or customers and to access financing to support the launch and international shipments.
SBA is an independent agency of the federal government whose mission is to help Americans start, build, and grow businesses. Among the agency’s programs are several aimed at providing assistance to exporting small businesses. “The IBA is an exciting concept and one that fits well with the export-oriented economy in Southern California,” remarked J. Adalberto Quijada, Director of SBA’s Santa Ana District Office. “We view it as essential that every manufacturing and service company think in global terms.”
Amir Banifatemi, managing partner at K5 Ventures business accelerator (www.k5launch.com) and past President of the Tech Coast Angels (Orange County), notes that “We know that the process of business acceleration works. Working intensively over a period of months to prepare companies for launch has a high success rate and we have worked with more than 120 such start ups for which we have accelerated about 45 and we can note the difference in their performance and market readiness. What we have found is that companies that have the ability to go international need to think global from the initial phases of their product and service design, even if they first implement in the US.”
Christopher Lynch, President of CiViC 180 (www.civic180.org) and adjunct professor of International Business at Golden Gate University, adds “The entrepreneur needs to understand how international trade works and we teach them that. In today’s global marketplace, you can’t have a main company and an international appendage. We work with the start ups to integrate the global business approach into the DNA of the company.”
For further information on the IBA and its services, please visit www.iba.io
According to a McKinsey & Company study, more than half the world’s inhabitants – 3.6 billion people – live in cities. The proportion is the highest in mankind’s history, and it is growing fast. The ways in which cities develop and cope with such rapid urbanization are of huge importance to its citizens. Cities are the main sources of economic growth and productivity. With that said, to make the most of the available resources, both human and financial, effective city leaders need to rigorously assess and manage expenses, explore private partnerships, introduce investment accountability, and embrace technology.
The formidable task of managing growing cities in ways that support and drive economic growth will help the public, social, and private sectors in making informed decisions about city and community development strategies, and to help build the skills to implement those strategies. This need for community revitalization is a primary reason we formed CiViC 180 as a non-profit – to help communities and cities grow their local business community, embrace technology and viral marketing, connect globally, build entrepreneurship and sustainable funding to drive business acquisition and retention.
This growth in city inhabitants begs the question – “How do you make a city great?”
Through analysis, case studies, and interviews, we all seek to learn what cities and their leaders do to make their cities great, their communities better places in which to live, work and establish a business. Our findings, as I am sure you have found, make it clear there is no single method. Research suggests that successful cities find a balance between three primary areas. Cities need to achieve smart growth, which means securing the best growth opportunities to ensure prosperity. They need to do more with less. And, they need to win support for change by delivering results swiftly. It is a simple process, but sometimes difficult to execute:
1. Make Planning an Inclusive Process – city and community audit
2. Improve existing infrastructure
3. Innovation – develop opportunities for all
4. Achieve smart growth – nurture the best opportunities
5. Do more with less – make the most of available resources and community partners
6. Embrace technology and viral marketing
7. Win support for change – craft a personal vision for the city
City and community leaders need to understand their tenure will be limited. When long-term plans are articulated – and gain popular support because of short-term success – leaders can start a virtuous cycle that sustains and encourages a great city environment. As I mentioned earlier, for a leader to make important strides in improving their cities must do three things really well:
1. They must achieve smart growth. Smart growth identifies and nurtures the very best opportunities for growth in the community, develops a plan to cope with its demands, integrate innovative thinking, and ensures all citizens enjoy a prosperous city. An important element is to think about regional growth because as a metropolis expands, you will need the cooperation of surrounding municipalities and regional service providers. Integrating a business environment into economic decision making is vital to smart growth: cities must invest in developing infrastructure to grow and attract emerging growth companies in building high-density communities.
2. You need to do more with less. To be a great city, you need to secure all revenues due, explore investment partnerships, embrace technology, make organizational changes that eliminate overlapping roles, and manage expenses. Successful leaders realize their weaknesses and bring talented consultants who can achieve immediate results. Smart leaders bring in consultants to help them understand, if they design and executed well, they can deliver on private-public partnerships that will be an essential element of smart growth, delivering lower-cost, and higher-quality economic infrastructure.
3. Winning support for change is essential. Every city needs to change, it scares the team and the board, which can slow the momentum and even attract opposition. It creates fear, uncertainty and doubt. Successful cities will build a high-performing team of civil servants and talented consultants, to create a working environment where everyone is accountable for their actions, and take every opportunity to forge a consensus with the local population and business community. Building consensus with the local population and the business community through transparency and two-way communications is key to defining the city’s vision. The first step is to recruit and retain top talent, emphasize collaboration, and train civil servants in the advantages of using technology.
Every city has different priorities. Those priorities will be shaped by their own passions and vision, and by their city’s needs. City leaders will find themselves at different starting points in their quest to make their cities great, so each will have a different mandate. Many will find a strong consulting group to complement their team to get results quickly in kick-starting economic growth and delivering results. CiViC 180 has stepped in and assisted communities in making a difference. Everything CiViC 180 does is driven by the deepest and most profound understanding of how businesses’ need to interact with the community.
A city willing to take these steps will achieve smart growth, do more with less, and win support for change – the three hallmarks of any journey on the road to greatness. It is a journey to our future that needs to begin today.