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Training Course: Technology-Led Economic Development

Date: May 17 - 18, 2018

Location: Toronto, ON

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This course is held in partnership with Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO).

This technical course focuses on the competitive advantage of regions and the role of economic developers and community stakeholders in building an innovation ecosystem. It is important to understand the process of technological commercialization. In this course participants will be introduced to the legal and financial framework for bringing innovation to market, including technology protection and product licensing. Learn how to partner with government, industry, higher education, and the private sector to create a highly integrated network of technology and innovation. Multiple case studies will be presented to explain the role of business incubators, accelerators, venture capital, angel networks, gap financing, and more.


Course Highlights:

• Forming strategic alliances and technology clusters
• Building partnerships with higher education and technology councils
• Understanding technology transfer and commercialization
• Reviewing patent, copyright, trademark, and licensing terms
• Developing incubators, accelerators, and research parks
• Developing multiple financing mechanisms for technology businesses
• Debt vs. equity financing options for entrepreneurs and small businesses
• Rural technology-led economic development strategies



May 17

8:30 - 9:00 am


9:00 - 10:00 am

Introduction to Technology-Led Economic Development
This session sets the context for the rest of the agenda topics. It will begin with definitions that describe the dynamics of the Global Knowledge Economy and why what we face for the future is not the same as the recent past. Questions to be discussed will include: What is technology? What is a technology company? What are the significant changes in economic dynamics that we need to take into account in economic development? What major changes does all of this imply for economic developers and for regional economic strategies?

10:15 - 11:15 am

How Incubators/Accelerators can evolve into the place for all things entrepreneurial, and how the development of a regional innovation system supports the growth of technology and entrepreneurship
For several years, economic developers and universities have focused on technology transfer. We now know that the process of creating successful technology entrepreneurship and clusters is more complex. It depends upon a whole "system" of resources - all working together. Many of the pieces include connecting research institutions with communities to foster critical entrepreneurial business skills, networking and financing opportunities. There will be discussion of how the pieces work together to create the right environment in which technology companies grow and thrive.

11:15 am - 12:15 pm

Case Study (Incubator/Research Park Focus)
This session will highlight a few tested incubation models for innovation, education, and economic development that have been applied around the world. Specifically, course participants will learn about innovation-centered economic and business development models and how EDOs can work with local and regional research facilities to facilitate job creation.

12:15 - 1:30 pm

Lunch on your own

1:30 - 3:00 pm

From Idea to Marketplace - Knowledge Management Processes
Technology transfer and commercialization of intellectual property is one of the most difficult things for universities do well. Some universities have "cracked the code," and others still flounder. What differentiates the successful from the others? Those that have "cracked the code," in most instances have created a regional system of resources, working in concert towards a common goal. Session will discuss how the various components can create a synergy leading to technology cluster development in which entrepreneurial companies grow and thrive.

3:15 - 4:30 pm

Engaged Research Institutions - at the Heart of TLED Strategies
In this session, the participants will explore in greater depth all the ways in which community colleges, universities, medical and other research institutions are playing (or should play) critical roles in any regional TLED strategy. This session will also address the issue of what to do in the absence of these types of institutions.


May 18

9:00 - 10:15 am

Tech-led Strategies for Rural Economies
Rural-based economic developers can assist tech-based businesses by fostering strong networks of business service providers, improving telecommunications infrastructure and by helping local firms access the most recent innovations in technology to help grow their businesses. This session will cover practical strategies that rural EDOs can implement to create a robust technology-based economic development plan.

10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Financing and Equity Options for Tech-based Businesses
There are many viable options for tech-based businesses to acquire small business development funding such as commercial banks, angel investors and SBTDC programs. This session will help practitioners better understand the diverse set of funding sources available. Also, this session will improve the practitioners understanding of what lenders and angel investors are typically looking for in a start-up venture.

12:00 - 1:30 pm

Lunch on your own

1:30 - 3:00 pm

The Knowledge Workforce
We know that one of the hugely important factors to tech companies, when they decide where to be, is the availability of a suitably skilled local workforce. Indeed, focus on workforce strategies has become an important part of the economic developer's job. In this session, we will address how to strategize for bringing together local/regional resources (K-12, WDBs, Colleges, etc.) to be sure that your region can market its high-skilled workforce for tech companies.

3:15 - 4:15 pm

Defining Local/Regional Capacities and Industry Clusters, to Create a Tech-Led Market Strategy
Once participants and a process are defined, the next step is to assess local/regional capacities and the assets on which to base a TLED strategy. This session will review basic SWOT analysis, including economic assessment. It will address assessment of education and workforce assets and requirements. It also will describe how to analyze existing industry base and define present and targeted clusters for market strategy.

4:15 - 4:35 pm

Putting it All Together
Now that you have heard about the pieces, how do you put it all together? This session will summarize the information covered in the course, provide a few mini case studies, and engage participants in discussing how they would apply what they have learned in their regions.

4:35 - 4:45 pm

Wrap-up and Certificates


* Agenda subject to change

**PLEASE NOTE: In order to receive full IEDC certification credit for this course and a certificate indicating course completion, participants must attend the entire course and stay through the final session on the last day. Please make travel plans accordingly.**



Mo Collins
New Economy Specialist

Mo Collins is a New Economy specialist with more than 20 years of academic, non-profit and entrepreneurial experience. She speaks throughout the United States and Canada. Collins served in progressive, senior-level roles at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) between 1997 and 2014. She raised more than $1M annually to support a wide array of entrepreneur support programs and launched multiple tech-based economic development initiatives. Many of these innovations have been scaled and licensed outside of Iowa, earning personal and programmatic awards from the International Economic Development Council (2014), the University Economic Development Association (2010, 2014), the Technology Association of Iowa, the Midwest Economic Development Council and Association of Small Business Development Centers.

Since 2010, Collins has trained and published for the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the Economic Development institute (EDI) and a number of universities through the United States and Canada. She is a top tier trainer with these organizations. A prolific writer, Mo is a published academic and online author, writing on topics associated with technology innovation, networking and entrepreneurship ecosystems. Look for her upcoming book WE: Women Entrepreneurs, for release in spring 2017



  CEcD logo

This course meets the professional development requirements for the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) exam. CEcDs earn recertification credits for participation.


Accommodations/Training Location

Pantages Hotel
200 Victoria St,
Toronto, ON M5B 1V8
Reservations: 416-362-1777

Room Rate: $199 CAD
Cutoff date: September 17, 2018




By April 6

April 7 - May 4

*After May 4

IEDC Member








Full Time Student**




*Walk-in registrations will be accepted. Full payment must be made on-site in order to attend the course.

** Copy of current transcript required.

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Refunds less a $60 cancellation fee will be issued for all cancellations received in writing to fax: (202) 223-4745 or email: prodev@iedconline.org at least 10 business days prior to the course - please allow 3-4 weeks. All registrations regardless of payment status are subject to the $60 cancellation fee. No refunds or credit transfers to a future course will be issued for cancellations received within 10 business days of the course. Telephone cancellations are not accepted. Attendee substitutions for a course may be made at any time prior to the course.