In early March, under the leadership of SOCHE, Richard, Steven, Lou, Rana, and I worked with 32 catalysts in Dayton, Ohio. The energy of the people, the strength of the art community, the leading universities, and the culture of innovation (from the Wright Brothers to Wright-Patterson) made for an exciting couple of days.
I recently came across a great example of the Dayton's creative assets in action. This article from the University of Dayton highlights the winner of their recent business plan competition.
From the piece:
Salud del Sol, an innovative new business from a team of University of Dayton students aimed at bringing the 'health of the sun' to medical treatment in developing countries, took home the $10,000 first prize to help get the venture off the ground.
Winning the 2008 University of Dayton Business Plan Competition, the team of Lauren Dokes, Lori Hanna, Daniel Hensel and Anna Young created a business plan to develop and market solar cookers and solar-powered sterilizers.
Salud del Sol tapped other expertise at the University including engineering, international development and social entrepreneurship, according to project member Lori Hanna, a mechanical engineering major. The project – the basis of her senior honors thesis – grew from an internship in rural Nicaragua through UD 's Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities of Service-learning (ETHOS) program.
"Nurses have to travel to bigger health centers or hospitals to use sterilizers, sometimes traveling long distances by bus and spending precious time and money to have access to the equipment," she said.
This type of social entrepreneurship is becoming more and more of a calling card/career choice of members of the creative class and places that offer combinable creative assets -- including universities, mega region/international linkages, entrepreneurial institutions, and scientific talent -- will see sustainable growth and improvements in quality of place.