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The Overleap of Missed Opportunity

Posted 5 years ago

With the scramble by councils and other community-based stakeholders such as regional economic development groups to establish new innovation hubs (incubators and accelerators), we’ve witnessed plenty of awkward landings and disappointment for the hub instigators, the existing economic contributors looking for more reciprocal value from their rates, and the fledgling enterprises with their hands up for help.

When Impact Innovation is approached by such groups to design the hub governance and operating frameworks, the conversations generally start with how the hub is going to support the broader business ecosystem. While this is definitely part of the objective, what is often missing is how the council or organising stakeholders will use the hub themselves.

This could include:
• The hub becoming the internal innovation centre for the council; or
• The hub becoming an open innovation centre for other stakeholders.

We’re seeing a number of situations where the organising stakeholders are not planning to use the innovation hubs themselves and this sends a poor message to others. Not just a missed opportunity but a PR pothole.

In extreme cases we have seen councils with their internal innovation systems having nothing to do with a council-funded innovation hub, virtually snubbing the creative minds they claim to support.

It is possible to design sustainable innovation hubs that focus on core stakeholders while broader community and ecosystem engagement activities progress. It is possible to take the leap and land as intended when you plan for maximising opportunities.

– Brian Ruddle, Managing Director