Budding Rainforests: Where Are We Helping Grow Entrepreneurial Ecosystems?

People often ask us, “Where do we see new innovation ecosystems being developed?”  Some people are even more direct, asking us: “Where the f*!@ are we traveling all the time?!”

The short answer is, everywhere.  In the past few years, we have witnessed a quiet revolution in the making around the world.  At the risk of sounding self-promotional, we wanted to share some of our recent activities with you.

Our team at T2VC has the honor of working on a wide cross-section of activities globally to build vibrant innovation economies.  These are not just curious phenomena; this is a mass movement.  And the most critical feature is that these efforts are mostly fusions of both top-down and bottom-up collaboration… the only way it really works.  Here is a small sample of recent projects that we have been involved in creating, nurturing, and/or supporting:

ImageItaly.  The “Italian Rainforest” (here and here) is an effort that involves numerous key players in Italy, including Telecom Italia, Startup Italia, and others, focused on fostering startup development around the country.

New Mexico.  The “Rainforest in the Desert” (here and here) project involves the University of New Mexico, Governor Martinez, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories, and many others to spur the growth of the state’s innovative economy.

Colombia.  The National Innovation Strategy is a joint effort of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Tourism, the National Planning Department, and Balcoldex to support innovation development nationwide.

Saratoga, Upstate New York.  The “Rainforest in Tech Valley” (here and here) initiative is a new effort to create an entrepreneurial, innovative ecosystem in Saratoga, the Hudson Valley, and upstate New York.

Kazakhstan.  The Technology Commercialization Project is a collaboration of the Ministry of Science & Education and the World Bank to invest in technologies with strong potential for commercial application.

Gujarat, India.  The Venture Studio is a collaboration among the University of Ahmedabad, Stanford’s Center for Design Research, and others to apply “design thinking” to foster startup development and the region’s innovation ecosystem.

And we would be remiss not to mention our Global Innovation Summit.  Just two months ago, 400 people from 49 countries gathered recently at this Summit to focus on how to build innovation ecosystems.  Our partners included USAID, the World Bank, Lemelson Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank, and many others.

The evidence is now overwhelming: this is not your parents’ economic development.  We have entered a new age.  To support the work of building innovation ecosystems everywhere, we have launched Rainforest Architects, a program dedicated to: giving professionals enhanced tools to build innovation ecosystems; linking them to a global network of like-minded innovation experts; and supporting their personal learning, growth, and development as “rainforest experts.”  We would love to have you join us as an Architect!

Thanks for your ongoing support, as we strive to reinvent the way the world fosters economic growth.

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