The New American City — Schedule of Activities

Sunday, February 10

7:45 - 9 a.m. Conference Welcome and Breakfast

Building an entrepreneurial engine in urban communities creates limitless potential for sustained wealth generation, community stability and individual opportunity. Come to this kickoff breakfast to learn about the possibilities in store for those who choose to make entrepreneurship an urban priority.

Dinah Adkins, President, National Business Incubation Association, Athens, OH
Bill Grinker, President, Seedco, New York, NY
Della Clark, President, The Enterprise Center, Philadelphia, PA

9 - 9:15 a.m. Break

9:15 - 10:15 a.m. The Philosophy and Vision of an Urban Incubation Program

At this session, we'll discuss the fundamental tenets of incubation program development, focusing on the particular challenges of an urban environment. The emphasis will be on building a continuum of urban incubation programs from youth entrepreneurship to adult business training to serve the needs of all entrepreneurs. Topics will include:

  • Programming issues specific to urban incubators
  • Envisioning an urban incubation continuum: Identifying the different stages of business incubation, assessing capacity and measuring milestone achievements

Matt Bergheiser, Vice President, Entrepreneurial Programs, The Enterprise Center, Philadelphia, PA
Paul Terry, Business Consultant, Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, San Francisco, CA (invited)
Thalia Mendez, Director, Incubation & Education Initiatives, Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corp., Milwaukee, WI

10:15 - 10:30 a.m. Break

10:30 - 11:45 a.m. Seedco Facilitated Team Session — Developing a Strategy for an Urban Incubator

The Enterprise Center of Philadelphia and San Francisco's Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center will present cases based on their programs at this session. Then, attendees will break into small groups to analyze this information in order to understand the context in which these programs were launched and operate and to answer some critical questions.

Small Group Discussion Points

  • Vision/Goals: What are the problems/needs addressed by the incubators featured in the case studies? Who are the incubators' clients? How are the incubators' clients supposed to benefit or change if they avail themselves of incubator services? What are the goals of the incubators?
  • Capacity/Self-Assessment: At what stage are the incubators? What services do the incubators provide and how do they provide them? What milestones have the incubators achieved? What resources do the incubators have?
  • Reporting and Sharing Experiences
    • Participants will report on the questions discussed in small groups and will be encouraged to draw upon their own experiences to foster further discussion.
    • Speakers will elucidate answers based on their programs' experiences.

11:45 a.m. - 12 p.m. Break

12 - 1:15 p.m. Luncheon and Keynote — Exercising Leadership and Building Political Will in Urban Areas

Political coalitions are imperative for an urban incubation program. Gain tips, tools and techniques to create the partnerships necessary to develop and sustain your community's program.

David Wilhelm, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee; president of Wilhelm & Conlon Public Strategies, Chicago

1:15 - 1:30 p.m. Break

1:30 - 2:45 p.m. Seedco Facilitated Team Session — Strategic Questions Based on Your Own Organization and Community

Professional facilitators will lead a discussion based on the following points:

  • Vision/Goals: What are the problems/needs of your community or addressed by your incubator? Who are your incubator's clients or your community's potential clients? How are these clients supposed to benefit or change if they avail themselves of incubator services? What are your organization's/incubator's goals?

  • Capacity/Self-Assessment: At what stage is your organization's incubator or, for those without incubators, your community's entrepreneurship support programs? What entrepreneurship support services does your incubator or other agencies provide? How are they provided? What milestones have your incubator or other existing entrepreneurship support agencies achieved? What resources do your incubator or other entrepreneurship support agencies have?

2:45-- 3:15 p.m. Break

3:15 - 4:45 p.m. Designing an Incubator Program

At the heart of effective business incubation is a well-defined set of client assessments and coaching services, as well as clear expectations for client growth and program participation. At this session, we'll discuss those fundamental issues as well as strategies for identifying entrepreneurial talent from your community and the surrounding region. Topics will include:

  • Casting the net for urban entrepreneurs

  • Coaching entrepreneurs to success

  • Access to capital for urban entrepreneurs

  • Access to markets for urban entrepreneurs

Matt Bergheiser,Vice President, Entrepreneurial Programs, The Enterprise Center, Philadelphia, PA
Paul Terry, Business Consultant, Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, San Francisco, CA (invited)
James Carras, Principal, Carras Community Investments Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, FL (invited)

4:45 - 5 p.m. Break

5 p.m. - 7 p.m. Reception and Tour of the Enterprise Center — Developing the Incubator's Physical Community

Although the work inside an incubator is far more important than its physical appearance, urban incubators are important visual symbols of opportunity and change. The Enterprise Center staff will discuss the particular challenges of developing real estate in urban communities, as well as the requisite infrastructure for success — including outfitting facilities with state-of-the-art technology and amenities. Topics will include:

  • Getting started: The incubator facility

  • Bringing cutting-edge technology to your facility

  • Building an entrepreneurial campus
Della Clark, President, The Enterprise Center, Philadelphia, PA

7:30 p.m. Dinner (on your own)

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Monday, February 11

7:45 - 9 a.m. Breakfast — Understanding Minority Entrepreneurship

Minority entrepreneurship is the fuel for incubators serving as engines of economic growth for urban communities. Analyzing trends and understanding policies and programs that promote minority entrepreneurship are critical to cultivating success stories in urban incubators. At this breakfast session, we'll look at minority entrepreneurship from a national perspective, with real-life lessons that are applicable locally.

Ronald Langston, Director, Minority Business Development Agency, U.S. Department of Commerce

9 - 9:15 a.m. Break

9:15- 10:45 a.m. Reaching Out: Identifying Partners and Resources for the Urban Incubator Program

Successful urban incubators build relationships with both public- and private sector organizations. This discussion will present systematic plans for forging corporate, university and community partnerships and for building relationships with public officials and prospective funders. Topics will include:

  • Resource development for urban incubation
  • Working with public officials
  • Creating corporate, university, and community partnerships
Sandy Bourne, President, Pasadena Enterprise Center, Pasadena, CA
Della Clark, President, The Enterprise Center, Philadelphia, PA
Ernest Osborne, Former Senior Vice President, Seedco, New York, NY

10:45 - 11:15 a.m. Break

11:15 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Seedco Facilitated Team Session — Goal Setting and Action Planning

Professional facilitators will work with your team, helping you develop a blueprint for business incubation in your city. You'll return home with far more than notes and handouts — you'll have a step-by-step action plan for identifying a mission, raising money, recruiting clients and finding an appropriate facility. Topics will include:

  • How to Develop an Action Plan: Facilitators will present examples and templates used by organizations in developing their own action plans.

  • Creating Your Action Plan: Given the organization's stage, priority issues and goals, teams and individuals will draft their own community action plans.

1:00 - 2:45 p.m. Working Luncheon — Team Action Plan Presentations

Selected teams or individuals will have the opportunity to present their action plans for critique by a panel of experts.

2:45 - 3:45 p.m. Urban Entrepreneurship in Action

Urban entrepreneurs are turning their communities into hubs of critical business assets, creating wealth and serving as entrepreneurial role models to future generations. Come to this brief session to hear their stories. Clients and graduates of The Enterprise Center will discuss their experiences and the impacts of incubator services and coaching

Melinda Emerson, President, Quintessence Entertainment, Philadelphia, PA
Darnell Thomas, President, Darn Thomas Legwear, Philadelphia, PA
Ivan Juzang, President, MEE Productions, Philadelphia, PA

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New American City Home


Sunday, February 10
Monday, February 11