Deshpande Symposium on Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Higher Education

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The Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education brings together academics, policy planners and practitioners to discuss best practices in integrating entrepreneurship throughout their college and university communities. What began as a small gathering now boasts a powerhouse lineup drawing from all facets of where the worlds of academia and business intersect. Co-founded by the Deshpande Foundation and the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2012, the Symposium draws hundreds of faculty, administrators, students and business people to discuss an array of topics, including entrepreneurial culture and ecosystems, innovative entrepreneurship curricula, research commercialization, startups and emerging trends.


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innovation, entrepreneurship, university leadership, student engagement, awards, higher education, symposium, conference, entrepreneurial university, university conference, Curriculum Innovation, University Commercialization, Entrepreneurial University Culture, Entrepreneurial University Ecosystems, and emerging trends

Pantami Harps on Benefits of National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre

Dr Isa Ali Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has said that the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre will enable Nigerians acquire cutting-edge technological skills, when it finally becomes functional.

Pantami stated this on Thursday during the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, in Abuja.

He noted that the groundbreaking ceremony of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre is another giant leap towards the development of our digital economy and diversification of our country’s economy.

Pantami said “The Centre will be based on the ‘live, work and learn’ concept.

The activities of the centre, according to him, will align with 6 out of the 8 pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy for a Digital Nigeria.

The minister also revealed that they are developing National Policy on Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which this Centre and many other centres all over the country will implement.

He further explained that the centre when completed would provide several benefits to Nigerians and he mentioned few of them as thus:

“The centre would enable Nigerians to participate in the development of hardware, software and emerging technologies; it will create an innovative ecosystem; provide a unique platform for technical skills (programming), soft skills (social interaction), entrepreneurship (starting and operating a business) to focus on the promotion and development of ICT, including smart energy solutions to drive ICT.

“Other benefits of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre are, it will help nurture new ideas and develop an inquisitive perspective to support in the creation of employers of labour; support in the promotion and development of ICTs, including aspects of advanced applied research; and allow startups to accelerate and experience innovations at scale, through customized visits, design thinking sessions and co-innovation workshops to create a highly collaborative and immersive environment”.

Speaking on some of the achievements of the Ministry, Pantami divulged that the growth of the economy is as a result of the ICT’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP, reaching an unprecedented value of 17.83% in Q2 ‘2020 according to National Bureau for Statistics.

According to the Minister, “We have also recorded an all time high broadband penetration since the redesignation of the Ministry. When I assumed office on the 21st of August 2019, the official broadband penetration figures stood at 33.72%. It increased with the subsequent monthly figures from end of August 2019 to end of November 2020, where it stood at 45.07%.

“We also succeeded in obtaining the commitment of the State Governors to peg their Right of Way charges to a maximum of N145 per linear metre, resolving an issue that had lingered for over 7years.

“In addition, we have also experienced great success in the development of other aspects of our digital economy. Over 120,000 Nigerians have benefited from our online digital skills program, with over 80,000 of them receiving one form of certification or another. This is even without taking the physical trainings into account.

“We have developed over a dozen policies aimed at providing the right environment to enable entrepreneurs to thrive in the sector”.

Pantami further commended the Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, for his effort towards the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and the digital innovation and entrepreneurship initiative.

5 Peoria mayoral candidates discuss business, innovation, entrepreneurship in virtual forum

PEORIA, Ill, (WMBD) — The five candidates vying for the city’s top seat took part in a virtual mayoral forum Thursday night discussing possibilities for economic growth.

The “Return to Better” forum was also hosted by The Peoria Innovation Alliance, Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, Young Professionals Organization of Greater Peoria, Right to Start, and Distillery Labs.

The five candidates, Rita Ali, Sid Ruckriegel, Jim Montelongo, Chama St. Louis, and Andres Diaz all spoke on topics of innovation, entrepreneurship, and helping to expand economic opportunities through the city.

“Through innovation, through job creation, through our collective business acumen we can actually not only define where we are as a community, but also inspire the rest of the nation to be able to move there with us,” Ruckriegel said.

“We need to support Peoria-grown businesses with access to opportunities, resources, and mentorship,” St. Louis said.

“I want to put forth the greatest effort ever-made in Peoria to help our businesses in growing and expanding because that’s the only way we’re going to get out of the trouble that we’re in,” Montelongo said.

“The people taking the risk, making the investment, they need our support and encouragement, not our interference and bureaucracy,” Diaz said.

“I want to put Peoria on a pathway to become a smart city,” Ali said. “A smart city infuses innovation in everything it does to stimulate growth, to educate, to transport, to protect its citizens.”

One of the questions posed to the candidates asked what are some examples of policies that they’ve noticed in other areas to sustain economic growth in other communities that they would like to bring to Peoria.

“I got a lot of phone calls from our retail, restaurants, and some of the large developers with the shopping centers explaining what their challenges are with COVID and the loss of business, etc,” Montelongo said. “I asked the city manager to do some research, “What can we do to help these businesses right now?” So the city council, together, we passed a 50% fee reduction in those areas so that’s something I think went very well.”

“Columbus, Ohio is the city that I referred to earlier that became a smart city and they are still stimulating business growth even through the pandemic,” Ali said. “One thing they’re focusing on is training for in-demand jobs. We can give more emphasis on early exposure to high demand and high wage occupations for middle and high school students.”

“It really comes down to the success of businesses and making it a more level-playing field for all businesses because some of the things that we have imposed are very expensive to the point of entry for a lot of businesses,” Ruckriegel said.

“Other cities are implementing a monthly stimulus to their residents which I think is a really amazing concept,” St. Louis said. “I’m going to go put all my money down on the monthly stimulus program because it is a way to empower our residents without using taxpayers’ dollars.”

“Some of the ways that the city [Frisco, Texas] streamlined their business or their support of businesses was to hire and bring in the National Development Corporation to be a third-party payer on some of the CARES and CDBG funds that they received,” Diaz said. “Having an outside party that maybe has done this much more efficiently for the city of Frisco would be a great thing.”

Other topics mentioned included ways to inciting businesses to move to Peoria’s innovation area, empowering minorities to create new businesses, and the importance of instilling entrepreneurship into the youth.

The entire forum can be viewed here.

The primary election is Feb. 23 and early voting has already started at the Peoria Election Commission.

What Is Innovation And How Important It Is For Entrepreneurship: Gurps Rai On One’s Own ‘Innovation Style’

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