Neighborhood Innovation Center

Community in Entrepreneurship

A neighborhood innovation center is the first place where the most underserved entrepreneur walks in the door. CTEK is developing a best-practices “Playbook” that can significantly improve the Center’s success rate.

Many individuals and organizations seek funding to start a neighborhood innovation center, called a “NIC” (co-location facility or impact hub) in their town, but they lack the knowledge on how to do that successfully. They also lack the buy-in from the local community, corporations, service providers and government that is needed to make them successful. The NIC Playbook shows how to start and run a center that welcomes diversity and embodies inclusion. There are sections for each stakeholder to sign and literally “get on the same page” and, once completed, the NIC champion will attain the support of a group of NIC partners who will provide money, resources, programs, products and other support. If you are a leader looking to start and build capacity for an entrepreneurial ecosystem in your community, completing the Playbook requirements and garnering stakeholder support in your community can lead to grants of funding and services.

Many people seek to create a Neighborhood Innovation Center (NIC) in their community, but they jump in blindly in a silo of good-will, without sufficient knowledge or abilities to succeed. They do not know how to set up a physical co-location entrepreneurial facility, nor do they know the best operational practices of successful NICs, nor do they secure the stakeholder support from their community that is critical for sustainability. The outcome is a failed effort that costs time and money. The disappointing results dampen future community desire to embrace NICs, despite a center’s strikingly positive influence, when done properly, on alleviating poverty by enhancing local innovation and jobs among a city’s most underserved people.

CTEK’s is providing a blueprint for a community to create and sustain a successful NIC and to build a coalition of partners to ensure a NIC’s success by providing software, hardware, services and financial support. We will test this in inner-city, rural and remote locations, comparing and contrasting results to find the best solutions for different environments before expanding to impoverished cities across America and then the world.