By many accounts, 2013 was the year of innovation, or at least the use of the word “innovation.” Particularly in the technology sector, nothing was viewed as important if it couldn’t be labeled as innovative. In fact, overuse of the word was written about in publications ranging from Wired to The Wall Street Journal, which also said it was “rapidly becoming devoid of meaning.”
We think there’s more to it than that.
When we rebranded the STAR Technology Enterprise Center (STAR TEC, founded in 2003) as the Tampa Bay Innovation Center in 2011, it was because we understood that innovation is at the heart of entrepreneurial success. And, with a mission of “accelerating entrepreneurial success,” we believed then – and still do – that Innovation Center is a much more accurate description of what we do.
Innovation has been described as an entrepreneurial undertaking that may create radical or incremental changes to products, services and processes. As such, it spans the range of creators from inventors to intrapreneurs; from originators to adopters. Wherever the concept originates, it must create new economic and/or social value. We believe our role is to help guide and support these creators in achieving these types of value.
So…we don’t think innovation is losing its meaning. If anything, as people continue to create, using different media, innovation will be increasingly harder to achieve, making these accomplishments even more impressive.
In our coming blog posts, we’ll be introducing topics that describe operational elements of both entrepreneurship and innovation. We welcome your comments and suggestions for additional topics.
Tonya Elmore is president and CEO of Tampa Bay Innovation Center. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.