We congratulate the 2018 GSDC innovation award recipients!
A major strategic focus of the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation is to foster and promote innovative thinking within and among area businesses and organizations. The GSDC Innovation Award, or I-Award, recognizes St. Cloud area for-profit and non-profit organizations employing innovation to solve problems and create opportunities.
Four awards of $1,000 were presented at the GSDC meeting of all investors on November 1, 2018.
· One award to an emerging for-profit company
· One award to an established for-profit company
· One award to each of two non-profit organizations
Hear their stories via the video links in the right-hand column.
Driving innovation drives economic development.
When it comes to business development, a good idea is a profitable idea. That's the core of innovation. Of course, innovation isn't limited to technology or tech companies. It affects and is integral to all businesses.
For the St. Cloud, Minnesota, region to grow and bolster its economic base, the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation must foster and promote innovative thinking. But how? Innovation depends on a complex interaction of sixteen indicators across six essential elements. These include:
Higher education attainment in the population ages 25–34
Number of science and technology researchers per 1,000 employed
Corporate investment in research and development (R&D)
Government investment in R&D
Share of the world's scientific and technical publications
Venture capital investment
Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure
Corporate investment in IT
Effective marginal corporate tax rates
Ease of doing business
Foreign direct investment inflows
Real GDP per working-age adult
But what is the ROI of innovation? A lot. And the returns are not limited to a single aspect. Innovation delivers broad returns that elevate the St. Cloud region in numerous ways.
Reduce the Cost of Failure: Not all ideas and inventions are viable commercialization opportunities. The Innovation lab can provide the tools, processes, and environment to help entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs (entrepreneurs within an existing business) better understand and navigate the various stages of commercialization.
Decrease the Time to Market for Viable Ideas: Many new viable ideas and inventions stagnate after the product is developed. The Innovation lab will be a conduit between the invention phase and the commercialization phase.
Provide Access to Capital: The Innovation lab will provide a more organized approach to access financial capital (both seed and early stage) and human capital (consultants, think tank participants, advisors, and directors).
Public/Private Partnerships: The Innovation lab will help better connect area colleges and universities with businesses bringing inventions to market.
Stronger Economic Base: Innovation will lead to new companies, growth within existing companies and additional jobs within the community.
Provide a Competitive Advantage: As the Greater St. Cloud community is able to establish itself as an innovative community, more companies and talented people will want to be a part of it.