Posted by Nancy Dahlberg

Parrish_HeadShotAny campaign looking to win support of any kind starts with a number of basic questions, such as “Who is our audience?” and “What do we realistically want to get that audience to do?”  One of those basic questions is also: “What differentiators can we offer to energize our audience to get on board and support the initiative?”

As the South Florida Technology Alliance (SFTA)prepares to launch a campaign to promote the growth of South Florida’s tech community, we have paid particular attention to that question.  What is so different about our community that tech start-up entrepreneurs as well as CEOs of established tech companies would want to establish, relocate or expand their operations here?  There are a number of assets we share in common with other regions also seeking to build their tech communities:  a great university system with many schools classified by the Carnegie Foundation as having high research activity, renowned private research institutes,   recognized and growing tech companies, local governments willing to negotiate incentives, etc.  These are great features to highlight, but not so different than other regions to make a compelling and unique argument for our region.  There are also many lifestyle and business environment assets that need to be featured (and will be) that are hard or impossible for other regions to flaunt, such as the great weather and the advantageous tax system here.

Chesal_HeatShotBut there is another asset that doesn’t really exist here yet, and doesn’t exist anywhere else to a great degree either.  It is an asset we can create that can become a true differentiator:  collaboration among and between the tech companies and the entire business community.  Not only is there an opportunity to banner this asset; right now we can take ownership of the culture of regional collaboration and become known as a global role model.  Now that would be a true differentiating asset!

Imagine South Florida’s reputation as a region where a business and its leaders are welcome and encouraged to work with allied enterprises, and even competitors.  Imagine a region where information is shared freely and where networks of relationships are open to all.  Imagine various organizations vigorously pursuing and fighting for their own unique niche agendas while supporting broad agendas such as the ongoing enhancement of the region’s educational system and the promotion of policies to spur innovation and entrepreneurship.  Imagine the growth of a local network of investors who work together to provide the various stages of financial support, from angel to IPO, to power the success of our region’s tech companies.  Imagine the broad business community committing to the concept that a rising tide truly lifts all ships: so law firms realize the growth of the tech community will translate into more M&A business and IPO clients, and restaurants serve more diners with bigger expense accounts, and homebuilders realize the growth of the tech community will also translate to an increase in the number of people with great jobs who can buy the houses they build.  And imagine that commitment goes beyond being just a concept to become the foundation of this campaign.

As the SFTA campaign rolls-out, you will better understand the concept of collaboration is more than a component of how we are trying to position South Florida, but a true keystone of the campaign.  We will work to attract and nurture the collaboration from all segments of our community to make this asset come to life.  We need to win your support in the days and months and years ahead as this campaign gains critical mass; however, right now we need your interest and support.  If you share our vision, please contact us so we can determine how you and your organization can get involved in our shared mission.  Here’s how:  Write Linda Gove, Executive Director of the SFTA atexecutivedirector@southfloridatech.org.

James Parrish, PhD, assistant professor of Information Systems at Nova Southeastern University (top photo), and Lenny Chesal, CMO and EVP of business development at Host.net (second photo), are both SFTA directors.  


Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/the-starting-gate/2013/07/what-if-collaboration-became-a-differentiating-asset-of-south-floridas-tech-community.html#storylink=cpy

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/the-starting-gate/2013/07/what-if-collaboration-became-a-differentiating-asset-of-south-floridas-tech-community.html

About the SFTA

The South Florida Technology Alliance (SFTA) promotes the growth, success and awareness of the regional technology community. Through events, networking, programs and education, we provide south Florida’s technology-related companies, academic institutions, entrepreneurs, governments and related organizations with an active forum to grow the business of technology in our region.

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