Admit it. The hardest part about “regional collaboration” is getting everyone to collaborate. Or, getting beyond the talking into taking action.
The case study we released this week, “Using a Calendar to Build a Stronger Regional Cluster,” shows that a single organization, acting alone, can make “collaboration” a reality for their region or industry.
“The need for a centralized calendar of events had been identified some time ago,” said Mike Dailey, Executive Director of the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. (FITCI) in north central Maryland. “It had been talked about and talked about, but the same questions always came up: who’s going to host it, who’s going to develop it, who’s going to pay for it? It was a great idea, and we knew we should do it, but we never got around to it…
“[The Basecamp Business Calendar Network] was a great opportunity for [FITCI] to pick up on our own and just do it… Had we not known about Basecamp Business, we still wouldn’t have an integrated calendar. You can imagine having 6 different organizations with 6 different webmasters, each with its own priorities of who should be where and how it should look: it was just not going to go anywhere.”
FITCI started using the Calendar, and that inspired the nearby Fort Detrick Business Development Office (FDBDO) to join as well.
“We have about 3 or 4 other partners in the area,” explained Dailey, “and they’re all waiting but we should expect them to be joining us. But the great thing about the Basecamp Business Calendar Network is that we can move ahead without waiting.”
Read more by downloading our new case study on how FITCI, FDBDO, and others in the north central Maryland area use our Calendar to reinforce the sense of integration and collaboration that they have worked so hard to achieve.
Innovate* Knoxville (innovateknoxville.com) is a collaborative effort between a growing number of organizations, companies, and individuals that are passionate about supporting all levels of entrepreneurship in what is known as the “Innovation Valley.” This workgroup identified a strong need for a Web-based portal that could help direct entrepreneurs to the supportive entrepreneurial resources that exist throughout Innovation Valley.
Calendar as a Cornerstone
The Business Calendar Network is a cornerstone of the Innovate* Knoxville strategy. As the web site puts it:
- Innovateknoxville.com recently launched a calendar application that aggregates events from up to 60 organizations within the Innovation Valley that are of interest to the entrepreneurial, small business, and professional community in the region. The obvious benefits being:
- Entrepreneurs save time in becoming more informed about all the events being held throughout the Innovation Valley.
- Avoids redundancies and overlapping of event.
- Encourages more collaboration and networking among the entrepreneurial community.
Calendar Eliminates Silos
Knoxville News Sentinal coverage of the announcement at the recent Entrepreneurial Imperative conference highlighted how the Innovate* Knoxville web site and the new Calendar eliminate the “silos” of information that limit collaboration.
"It's frustrating to see all these great organizations and and not know what each other are doing," said Alex Lavidge of Lavidge Unlimited, a management consulting and marketing firm....
"We all have our niche and our own things going on. Some overlap, but we didn't know who was who. I might have a training class with people SCORE might be interested in. This coordinates all activities into one place," Lavidge said.
Shawn Carson, director of the Center For Entrepreneurial Growth, said it's nice having all of the social gatherings, training and other events in one place for people to plan ahead.
Calendar Accelerates Adoption
In a recent conversation, Todd Napier of The Development Corporation of Knox County explained how working with Basecamp Business has helped transformed Innovate* Knoxville from a great idea into a real and very practical tool for local entrepreneurs.
The Basecamp Business Calendar Network has accelerated the acceptance of innovateknoxville.com. Because of the Calendar, the web site is not just a place for people to come and share ideas. The Calendar gives people a practical and active reason to go to the Innovate* Knoxville site. There they can find useful information, thus, causing them to come back time and time again.
Find the Events that Matter™