Another evening full of conversation and good food was had at the co.space last night for our Community Dinner focused on the Innovation Ecosystem of State College. The question of the night was “What are elements of State College that you would like to see flourish in the next 3 years as we grow an ecosystem of innovation?” Over 60 people joined us for the evening and as we chowed down on soup featuring many local farms in the area, participants jumped into breakout discussions. Each discussion was lead by a conversation host and the key points are documented below. Thanks to everyone who came out – if you want to follow-up with anyone further, feel free to reach out to them with the contact info below.
Topic: The Future of Music in State College
Host: Misha Cleveland
Short-Term Goal: (1) Keep having events, (2) Build a following of PSU students, (3) Identify local bands and musicians who would like to play, (4) Obtain 501c3 status
Long-Term Goal: (1) Create a space of our own, (2) Be known in the community as a fun and cool place to go
How Can You Help?: (1) Fundraising ideas, (2) Create a directory with local events and bands who would like to play, (3) Get the appropriate people (stakeholders/investors) together around a table
Topic: The Role of Government to Help Spur Innovation
Host: Elliot Killian
Short-Term Goal: (1) Streamline processes, (2) Identify what we want, not what we don’t want, (3) Outreach, (4) Perception barriers
Long-Term Goal: (1) Government should have a finger on the pulse and remain flexible and innovative themselves, (2) Create stronger ties to near-by towns
How Can You Help?: (1) Leadership in this community can take an active role in correcting/changing perception to a more county/regional view – we should look at the ‘Greater State College area”
Topic: Funding for For-profits in State College
Host: Todd Erdley
Short-Term Goal: Need more expertise on going to market and selling. Knowing how much money is needed is impossible without this knowledge.
Long-Term Goal: People want a “safe” way to approach raising money. There is concern about VC and we need to have options that are not viewed as a barrier to starting a business.
How Can You Help?: We need better awareness of what money is available. People understand there is kickstarter, but what other options exist.
Topic: Technology as a Facilitation/Dialogue Tool (Geo-Deliberation)
Host: Jess Kropczynski
Short-Term Goal: Find ways to facilitate dialogues focused on community problem solving and do that online. We want our app to be used and to get user participation on our surveys.
Long-Term Goal: Create a platform (GeoDeliberator) to facilitate dialogues online
How Can You Help?: Use our app!
Topic: Connecting Entrepreneurs with CBICC Community
Host: Mac Frederick
Short-Term Goal: (1) Connect with Rotary Young Professional Club at PSU, (2) Connect/network with other clubs, (3) Networking dinner with everyone at the beginning of each semester
Long-Term Goal: (1) Help build the ecosystem, (2) Build student businesses, (3) Continue growing club to 1000+ members
How Can You Help?: (1) We need businesses, local entrepreneurs and members of CBICC to reach out and work together
Topic: Connect/Systemize Freelancers in the Community
Host: Lee Erickson
Short-Term Goal: (1) Identify current and successful marketplaces and best practices in other college communities, (2) Identify current needs in this community (ex: is this a silo, do we need IT or programming)
Long-Term Goal: (1) Create an active online marketplace that connects students at Penn State with local/regional businesses for freelancer work, (2) Promote opportunities for internships or full-time engagement
How Can You Help?: Businesses need to have more presence in the community, at Penn State and downtown
Topic: PSUThink – Connecting Students to the Community
Host: Matt Mignoga
Short-Term Goal: Spread awareness of PSUThink
Long-Term Goal: Turn show into a program students routinely tune into to learn about their community
How Can You Help?: (1) Ideas for partnerships and ways to spread the word, (2) More resources/filming capabilities