Innovation & Economic Development
While Equity Technology Partners is an international consulting firm that works with the World Bank Group, regional investment banks, sovereign wealth investors, multi-national corporations and governments to build nations, our visionfactory team has an equally important task of building healthy and resilient communities.  Visionfactory partners with local stakeholders to serve a body of interests as they consider methods and means to leverage all of their resources and regional assets.  Our practice works in multi- and cross-disciplinary teams, with the economic development strategy, financial and operational functions being closely linked and intertwined to nurture, support and grow innovation and entrepreneurship. 
Why is this important for city leaders?
Innovation is disproportionately driven by clusters of young, technology-intensive companies.  Over the past few years, these new businesses have been moving from suburban research parks to urban communities integrated into the heart of the city.  Large global corporations are following them in pursuit of new technology, innovation and talent.  Cultivating this urban shift can bring considerable benefits to cities:

High-growth companies create high-paying jobs

Growth is disproportionately driven by young, high-growth companies.  Between 2012 and 2018, for example, just 6% of high-growth companies created 50% of the US’s employment growth.

Vibrant tech sectors are often the epicenter for new growth.  New York City’s tech sector directly created 45,000 jobs between 2003 and 2013 – 6% higher than the national average.

These are the jobs of tomorrow

Not only are these jobs numerous, they are also the jobs of tomorrow.  Recent research predicts that over 47% of US jobs are at risk of automation.  Innovative high-growth companies are creating the skills and ideas that cities will need to compete in an increasingly digital economy.

There is a growing opportunity for collaboration between entrepreneurship outside city halls and innovative governance within them

Whereas city administrations were once relatively closed and insular environments, leading cities are now looking to engage with outside ideas and innovators to improve services and create new solutions to complex problems.  Individuals and teams within cities are also starting to adopt working practices more typically associated with startups than bureaucrats.

A new breed of companies are reshaping the way people interact with the city around them

Companies like Uber, Airbnb, Google, Bird and FourSquare and ROVA are bridging the digital and the physical with location-aware and on-demand services that create new ways for citizens to experience the city.  Embedding a new generation of IoT companies into the urban infrastructure can ensure those experiences are safe, seamlessly integrated and effortless.

It is clear that cities that recognize the importance of facilitating innovation and entrepreneurship are getting recognized by the site selectors for the Fortune 500.

By looking across 40 cities from around the world, we have observed a growing range of policy initiatives being employed by city governments to foster entrepreneurship both in the private sector as well as innovation in the way the city delivers services.  These efforts have not gone unnoticed.