Monday, July 16, 2012

Cleveland Brain Drain And Innovation

"Adam Jackson is a San Francisco-based serial entrepreneur and angel investor. He issues a rallying cry to get startups happening outside the Valley, using the methods used in the developing world." -TechCrunch

I added the link to "Adam Jackson" in the TechCrunch bio. Jackson has a proposition for his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio:

I’m from Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland is part of the rust belt – a region of the US that has fallen on economic hard times largely due to globalization and the permanent export of manufacturing jobs. Because of these conditions, the cost of living in places like Cleveland has fallen sharply. The fact is, there are still plenty of smart and motivated people there that would be thrilled to have high-paying tech jobs. The problem is, there aren’t enough schools or organizations teaching them the actual skills they need. I believe the MEST model would work well here. Develop an intensive school that teaches people how to run a lean technology business and even build the tech side of it themselves. It’s much easier to bootstrap in places like Cleveland than it is here in Silicon Valley. That could serve as a huge advantage to this type of a program and its participants.

Any fellow midwesterners want to brainstorm this with me?

Emphasis added. If you want to know more about the MEST model, click through the link. Jackson is highlighting part of Cleveland's Rust Belt Chic advantage, ample urban frontier geography. He's emblematic of the other part, exporting talent. This is the brain drain dividend, a policy innovation I've seen used in the developing world (e.g. Michael Clemons). Migration, even outmigration, is economic development.

If you are interested in brainstorming with Adam Jackson and have a Twitter account, I recommend getting in touch with him. One idea I have is inviting Cleveland expatriates to boomerang back and be MEST participants. Migrants make great entrepreneurs. They are proven risk-takers. What say ye, Global Cleveland?

No comments: