The Conflict: Visionary municipalities have an overriding interest in improving their quality of life, retaining university graduates (stemming ‘brain drain’) and catalyzing the creation and growth of gazelles, but simply don’t have enough financial or human resources to fully carry out their most progressive economic development plans.
One Solution: With limited resources, a talent-producing university and recognition that a vibrant, affordable, 24-hour* urban center attracts entrepreneurs, municipalities and universities may find it in their best interests to consolidate their resources and focus on catalyzing the building of a bricks & mortar entrepreneurial portal if you will – a creative, entertainment-rich urban village near the university designed to attract:
– Undergraduates seeking quality affordable housing and entertainment
– Graduate students seeking a collaborative research and workplace environment, as well as the above
– Gazelles and Mom & Pops seeking a ‘regional destination’ business hub, cool spaces and affordable leases, as well as all of the above.
Where in the world will public and nonprofits find a private sector investment partner that will provide the capital, talent, tenant-seeking ability, vision and commitment to excellence to build such a ‘sounds too good to be true’ place? Here’s a good start.
*This applies to the fact that true entrepreneurs don’t sleep – it does not mean round-the-clock noise!