Tom Tom Takeaways for the Rural Ecosystem Builder
Big Table, Big Ideas, marked the launch of Driving Innovation’s third mobile lab, theAmp, which is designed to help rural communities amplify their local resources and strengthen connections between people and the places they share.
The Influence of the 3D Printer
Our program, Driving Innovation, brings mobile labs to rural communities across Tennessee for economic, workforce and community development. The summit included many sessions on rural entrepreneurial ecosystems that we just couldn’t pass up, so we hopped on a plane and took lots of notes.
3D printing took the world by surprise in 1983 when Charles Hull invented the first 3D printer, but it also took the nation by storm in the late 2000’s when commercial 3D printers first became available.
The idea behind theVenture is similar to theCO’s CO.STARTERS program, a nine-week program that essentially takes you through everything you need to know to start a business, from marketing and branding to paying taxes and hiring employees.
Introducing: Driving Innovation
We did a little bit of everything this month. Our staff met with small business owners all across west Tennessee, attended the USDA Rural Development Conference in Murfreesboro, and spent time at high schools in west and east Tennessee.
The idea stemmed from the CO:mobile, theCO’s Mobile Innovation Lab, which has been appearing at events around West Tennessee since it launched two years ago. The focus of theLab, the first of the completed buses, is to present technology that encourages interest in manufacturing and STEAM education.