Follow Up: Midtown Innovation Zone Meeting at Nead Brand Partners

Thanks to Mark Zust and Mark Brand for acting quickly, hosting a next step process for developing the Midtown Innovation Zone. Last evening's gathering was a follow up to several recent Midtown Wednesday forums.

Last night's ideas are organized by the Innovation Framework created from Ed Morrison's 25 years of work in economic development. This map guides communities and regions in Oklahoma City, Lexington Kentucky and the State of Indiana. The Framework offers leaders a starting point to begin to understand areas of contribution and our connection to others.

Valdis Krebs teaches us about the power of collaborative networks. We have mapped our Midtown networks. See how they have expanded through Midtown Wednesday forums in 12 weeks here.

Jack Ricchiuto teaches us the value of appreciative leadership skills to build trusted sustainable networks. Here are some appreciative questions to think about as you read the idea list:
What part of the map do you see yourself contributing to?
What opportunities do you see to create new replicable models of innovation?
Who do you envision working with you?

June Holley teaches us the value of building networked hubs of activity, learning to work together on small projects and moving forward quickly.

This is a starting point to reveal emerging innovation and entrepreneurship in Midtown. Our next step is a Midtown strategic process to align passions and strengths; identify transformative initiatives together and begin taking ideas to action, what we call "strategic doing". We can leverage I-Open practices and tools to do this. Read about the Commerce Lexington model here.

We will post next steps soon. We welcome comments and feedback.

Videos about innovation
Committees of people with shared goals to help Midtown: people work on whatever committee goal interests them: Some skill groups needed: a finance committee, a marketing commiittee, a business committee, a residential committee

Branding and Marketing
Media platforms
Information kiosk
Street signage
Video board (street scale)
Community Internet portal
Neighborhood information, services and resources on neighborhood websites
Available rental space website with pictures
Branding businesses in local TV show. See: Prelude2Cinema
Brief ads promomting Midtown as the place build networks
Midtown online directory: whatever you need is in Midtown!
Target audiences in advertisements: college students, business persons placed in Crains, Small Business News and COSE newsletter
Shameless pugs - on web, signage, ads
Target magazines that focus on entrepreneurship and redevelopment for articles (maybe even local?)
Virtual MT story (allow users to add successes as they occur)
Radio interface with cell phone reporters : "Midtown Happenings"
Create a Midtown Magazine

Building Innovation and Entrepreneurial Networks
"Midtown cash"
Frequent buyer programs
Arts discount
Coffee card (punch)
Water harvesting/portable potties/biodiversity planting/energy pellets/renewable energy/horticultural enterprise zone
Tax incentives for student housing

Build a network of all real estate owners and management; invite them to get involved through email and mailings
Create a plan showing potential future of MIdtown as a thriving community of residents and businesses: target people interested in helping to achieve this
Investment clubs for Midtown businesses
Micro funding networks
Consider tax increment financing -TIF (neighborhood agrees to higher taxes. 25% increase provided mooney is spent on neighborhood prioritites)

Funding sources:
Innovation financing forum/grants
Fundraisers/grants/MT Mutual fund/local investors

Quality, Connected Places
Develop a sense of place by: launching a progressive meal going to different places of business warehouses not restaurants to talk and mingle
Bike racks/free bikes
B2B scavenger hunt
How do we connect to Midtown beyond E. 55th ?

Innovation Cafe
Office tours
Create a sense of place and face to face

Midtown church bells
Restaurant tours
Rooftop parties
Bowling events
Out door dining
Tribe games group tix

Complimentary beer
Artscape messaging (temporary)
Sculpture, sponsored businesses, like guitars sponsored by United Way
Celebrate local culture through cultural events that the whole community gets involved in (ie., Chinese New Year in Midtown)
Local artists sculpt installations curbside, curbside parks, signage

Block parties
Farmers market
MT tours (with trolly)
Dine around

Treasure hunt
Progressive ''walk''
Appetizer and dessert stations at business open houses
Street fest /art fest /entertainment
Clean up saturday or spring clean up afternoon

Dialogue & Inclusion
Who is the target audience?
Residents, employees who live elsewhere, company management, building owners
Collaboration events with the quadranagle at Superior and St Clair and Midtown
Chat room(s)
Backpack software
Midtown Directory list of:
safety (police, fire, etc.)
available space

We would like to connect to specific skills and location of skills.
Create a Midtown Ambassadors program

Directory of Interest: a list of who is interested in what. People connect via shared interest. People should list not just their business but what topics interest them.
Forums to post opportunities with clients where help is needed
Face to face introduction

A "Who we are" program featuring Midtown businesses - website/ad campaign/
community newsletter, paper, e-news; directory of businesses; welcome brochure/directory
Coffeee house/bakery/ culinary institute

Weekly or bi-weekly referral meetings desiged to educate neighbors and refer business
Midtown blood Drive

Monthly or Quarterly anniversary parties to celebrate milestones for companies in Midtown


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