Innovation hub

5 golden rules to developing an incubation city

Photo: UNSPLASH/DWAYNE HILLS
Words: Andrew Swann

How does a city become a hotspot of innovation? Stick to these five rules and you’ll be on the right track 

Ralph Simon is a visionary. He predicted the future of mobile phones as our main tool for social networking and music. He’s built and developed numerous companies in the entertainment industry and helped many start-ups, technologists and creative innovators to grow in established and fast-developing international markets.

At the Pioneers Festival he revealed to The Red Bulletin what a city needs to do to to become a hotspot for innovation and successful entrepreneurship. 

According to Ralph there should be a ‘visionary degree’ that you can get. “Innovators are searching for a certain specialised kind of teaching that concentrates on how your innovation can become practical,” he says. “Many times people have great ideas, but they don’t know who they need to speak to or where they can get the funding from.” 

Countries that have the best understanding of how to develop creative industries are the ones where visionaries flourish. However, finding these visionary guides who can help develop these communities is a big challenge. 

Here are five golden rules for developing an incubation city like London, Tel Aviv, Berlin or Vienna according to Ralph. Tick all of these boxes and the visionaries will be queuing up to come to your city!

Rule Number one 

There must be a good university that produces graduates in STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.

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Rule Number two

You need to have large spaces (preferably green) and buildings to attract startups. 

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Rule Number Three

You need to have a rent that’s lower than the market value of commercial property.

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Rule Number Four 

You need to have a relatively liberal policy for getting a visa, so you can get the talent that’s really going to help the scene.

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Rule Number five

This is very important! There has to be a good DJ scene and DJ culture. It really helps if this is well developed. People often make the mistake of thinking that everything is the work of a genius. But that’s wrong, it’s always the work of a scenius. A scenius is a group of different smart visionaries working in the scene. Yes, there must be one genius thinker in the group, but they need the scene and the scenius, so visionaries need a scenius to find the genius to hit the jackpot.

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07 2016 THE RED BULLETIN

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