Our Programs

Our mission is to rebuild inclusive communities and reignite economic ingenuity. We do this by organizing and inspiring individuals, cities, and businesses through the following initiatives.

 

FIRESIDE CHATS

For the first six months following initial engagement, our staff focuses on rallying community stakeholders and citizens through monthly Fireside Chats. These gatherings bring together inspired speakers with area citizens who remind each other that all people have a place in our nation's future and indeed have something special -- even magical -- to offer.

Coffee & Concepts

From months six to 12, Fireside Chats are supplemented with additional gatherings called Coffee & Concepts. Every two weeks, the most curious minds in a community have an open discussion about the latest tech news that might influence local and regional economies. Participants also share ideas they have for new products or services, or seek advice if they’re stuck trying to overcome an entreprenerial challenge.

City Compass

Also during the first year, IC staff gathers local leaders in a series of City Compass meetings designed to foster debate about the economic niche -- or "vertical" -- best suited to a city's history, strengths, and passions. Critical to this decision-making process are the participants in the Fireside Chats and Coffee & Concepts who have the burgeoning knowledge and buy-in to make the vertical successful. At month 12, IC staff announces the new economic vertical with willing stakeholders.

Think Big Festival

After choosing the vertical, IC stakeholders begin planning the first Think Big Festival. The Festival is a three-day celebration that gathers a community’s citizens to explore the innovations and opportunities related to their vertical and gives them access to experts that they might otherwise never meet.

Leadership Network (ICLN)

From months 12 to 24, IC continues with the above programs and adds an extensive leadership course called the IC Leadership Network (ICLN). This series of groups and events encourages people to develop the best version of themselves and employ that in their work, home, and community. ICLN includes a personal development series, weekend summits with business leaders, and purposeful networking.

Innovation Den

From months 24 to 36, IC staff seeks out private industry partners to develop an Innovation Den, which is an inspired, dedicated space serving as both home to IC events and a business incubator for IC entrepreneurs.

Corporate Partners & Investors

From months 36 to 60, IC continues with its previous programs and initiatives – Fireside Chats, Coffee & Concepts, Think Big Festivals, and ICLN – while shifting focus to the introduction of corporate partners and investors. To the former, IC identifies and engages corporate partners that might be drawn to a city’s economic vertical and related knowledge programs. These companies leverage the ecosystem of talent and innovation to set up new facilities – HQS, manufacturing, distribution – and invest a portion of their R&D budgets to strengthen local knowledge of the vertical. 

IC also introduces entrepreneurs to investors who are constantly scouting for new products, services, and inventions. Similarly, we engage developers who are keen to explore a city’s revitalized residential and commercial real estate sectors.

 

Do these programs actually work?

They sure do. Read through our data about new jobs, new investment, and reformed systems of education. Hear about how we're building inclusive community. And be inspired by stories of transformation.

 
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