Saturday, July 30, 2005

I love it when a plan comes together

If your getting old like me, you remember a cheesy TV show called The A Team about a whacky military unit anchored by Mr. T. Each week the A Team saved the world, but not before narrowly escaping from several exploding buildings and rolling vehicles. At the end of each show the commander would exclaim, "I love it when a plan comes together!"

We had a planning retreat for InnoVenture 2006 Friday and Saturday, July 29th and 30th. The InnoVenture Conference in April 2005 was a huge success. We had 25 major companies, universities, and national labs with displays of their innovations looking for ways to collaborate with one another. We had 15 emerging companies presenting to venture capitalists, looking to raise money. Collectively these were synergistic communities of innovation.

The first sign that InnoVenture 2005 was a success was that almost every organization that participated left understanding why they were there. The second sign of success was that major organizations have stepped up in a meaning way to plan InnoVenture 2006.

At the planning meeting this weekend, the Michelin Americas Research Corporation, the Savannah River National Lab, Nexsen Pruet, the McNair Law Firm, the University of South Carolina, Clemson University, Midlands Technical College, the SC Department of Commerce, the SC Chamber of Commerce, Innegrity, eBridge, SDI Networks, The Technology Resource of the Southeast, Patrick Marketing, the Brand Development Company, Engenuity, the SC Research Authority, the SC Technology Alliance, the SC Council on Competitiveness, the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Sam Lee and me all participated in the presentations and the discussions.

I am impressed with the sense of ownership the group has in InnoVenture. I made a conscious effort this weekend to step back to allow the group to carry the weight of the planning and the discussion, and the group responded.

I love it when a plan comes together!

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