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Headlining Speakers Will Address the Past and Future of TBED Initiatives

October 07, 2009

If we have no map, does that mean we’re lost? Hardly. But given the economic turmoil affecting every crossroad of the country, some folks may be having a hard time seeing which road leads in the right direction. This year’s conference will feature two speakers at the forefront of TBED research who will share their insight on how states and regions can prepare themselves for the challenges ahead.

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation founder and president Rob Atkinson will examine the choices we face in strengthening American competitiveness. Atkinson is the author of the State New Economy Index series and the book, The Past And Future Of America’s Economy: Long Waves Of Innovation That Power Cycles Of Growth. He has an extensive background in technology policy, has conducted ground-breaking research projects on technology and innovation, is a valued adviser to state and national policymakers, and a popular speaker on innovation policy nationally and internationally.

SSTI President and CEO Dan Berglund will join Dr. Atkinson for a discussion that will help broaden our thinking of the possibilities before us. There are tremendous challenges resulting from the current downturn; for stronger regional and state economies to arise, innovation and TBED have to be significant partners toward a recovery. This no-holds-barred discussion session will stimulate conference participants to begin to think of ways their TBED efforts back home can seize the moment.

Following that conversation, Harvard professor Josh Lerner will join us to discuss his upcoming, provocatively titled book, Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed–and What to Do About It. Lerner asks: when has governmental sponsorship succeeded in boosting growth, and when has it fallen terribly short? In his presentation he will provide valuable insights into why some public initiatives work while others are hobbled by pitfalls and offer suggestions for how public ventures should be implemented in the future.

Professor Lerner is the Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking at Harvard Business School, with a joint appointment in the Finance and the Entrepreneurial Management Units. Previously, Dr. Lerner worked for several years on issues concerning technological innovation and public policy, at the Brookings Institution, for a public-private task force in Chicago, and on Capitol Hill. Much of his research focuses on the structure and role of venture capital and private equity organizations, which is collected in The Venture Capital Cycle and The Money of Invention.

This plenary session will provide opportunity for a lively discussion about when public capital initiatives are appropriate and what causes them to succeed or fail.

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