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Online Training Course: Technology-Led Economic Development

Date: May 22, 2019Time: 11:30 am - 3:00 pm

Location: Online

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This course will be held online, via Cisco WebEx. Learn more about minimum system requirements.

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 1

11:30 am – 12:00 pm ET

Registration and Staff Intro of Sessions

12:00 – 1:00 pm ET

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?

1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

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.

2:00 – 3:00 pm ET

Q&A Session


May 8

12:00 – 2:00 pm ET

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.

2:00 – 3:00 pm ET

Q&A Session


May 15

12:00-1:00 pm ET

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.

1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

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.

2:00 – 3:00 pm ET

Q&A Session


May 22

12:00-2:00 pm ET

The Knowledge Workforce
We know that one of the 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.

2:00 – 3:00 pm ET

Workforce panel

3:00 – 3:15 pm ET

Wrap Up


* 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 plans accordingly.**



Carol Kraus Lauffer
Business Cluster Development

Since joining Business Cluster Development (BCD) in 2002, Carol has helped 60 clients across the U.S. to plan and create successful strategies and programs that support entrepreneurship, create new businesses, move innovative products to market, and build strong ecosystems and clusters, resulting in economic diversification, job creation, technology commercialization, and economic growth. Prior to joining BCD, Carol was Managing Director of Panasonic's corporate, venture-backed incubator in Cupertino, California and a Principal in its $100 million venture fund. Carol has 30+ years of experience in economic development. As a dedicated member of the industry, Carol has served on the boards of the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA, formerly NBIA) and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). She held the post of Chair of the Board of Directors of InBIA in 2010-11. Carol is a course instructor for both organizations' certification programs, and a frequent speaker on best practices for business acceleration/incubation, entrepreneurial support organizations and targeting technology clusters for economic development. In April 2015, InBIA honored Carol with the President's Award for Lifetime Achievement, recognizing her significant contributions to the association and the industry. Carol earned a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Northwestern University.

Bob Okabe
Venture Development Principal and Education Lead
Polsky Center Tech Commercialization
The University of Chicago

As Venture Development Principal and Education Lead Bob Okabe is responsible for leading the Polsky Center Tech Commercialization team's efforts to develop and grow startup companies based on UChicago research technologies. He also leads commercialization practice in the education industry, most notably as leader of UChicago Solutions, the University's effort to bring innovative STEM instructional materials to K-12 schools.

Previously, Bob has been engaged with startup companies as an angel investor, board director, and interim CEO and CFO for sixteen companies. He has applied this experience to commercialization projects for UChicago, other universities, and corporations as a consultant and advisor for more than 15 years.



  CEcD logo

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




By March 22

March 23 - April 19

*After April 19

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.