When it comes to economic development, it is easy to talk about the quick fix of landing a large company with many jobs in hand, although making it happen can be a risky, costly enterprise.
The better long-term play is to nurture young companies that build on the resources – intellectual, physical, cultural – of the region. And while there are signals that this idea has taken hold in Rhode Island, we still have a long way to go.
A good sign is the seriousness with which business leaders take their roles as mentors when they do engage with local entrepreneurs.
A profile of the startups going through Betaspring’s accelerator boot camp in last week’s edition of Providence Business News revealed what the program’s graduates already know – success as they complete the 12-week experience will come in large part because of the efforts of the mentors that Betaspring attracts to work with the fledgling enterprises it accepts.
This week’s edition of PBN continues along that theme with a profile of the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s LunchLab series.
The informal sessions allow entrepreneurs and others the opportunity to sit down with experienced business executives and ask questions, discuss challenges and generally get one step closer to success.
However, the state should do more to create a stronger startup culture, one that in the long run will develop a more robust, more diversified economy. •