I attended a meeting yesterday with fellow association heads to hear about the progress to date on the Innovate Masstech initiative. For the unfamiliar, in late January, Governor Deval Patrick asked the region’s IT/digital sector to work together to find a common voice and embrace the challenge of expanding the region’s innovative capacity and sector preeminence.
Over the last six months, a group of dedicated people representing a cross section of business, academia and government have been working diligently to make this happen. There are four working groups: Industry Research & Analysis; Entrepreneurship, Talent & Workforce Development, & Communications.
One of the first outputs launched in early June was a collaborative web site that highlights what’s happening in technology & innovation. The work is being done by Echoditto, with tremendous experience in building online communities. Their founders were behind Howard Dean’s campaign, and effectively wrote the blueprint for internet political strategy.
Our meeting was specific to progress made on the communications committee – whose main task is to explore the sector’s current perceptions and key messages. We’ve spent too long flagellating ourselves that we aren’t as good as Silicon Valley, we lack competitiveness, negative, negative negative. We’re all sick of talking about it. There’s clearly work to be done, but there’s a lot of great stuff happening as we all know and this Committee is key to ensuring we talk about it in a powerful way.
They’ve developed 4 key goals:
--Establish Massachusetts/New England as the leading region for the technology sector, nationally and globally
--Unifty the sector and promote a culture of collaboration
--Clarify & articulate the region's unique strength and resources to business, individuals and influencers
--Create a dynamic brand that people will adopt and own
We’ve seen some initial conceptual thinking for the framework of an identity. They’ve asked that we involve our members in the conversation. Stay tuned for more developments.