Innovation-based Economic Development

A Step-by-Step Process
to Leverage Innovation and Entrepreneurship
and Drive Growth
in Your State, Region or Community

Why Does this matter?

Economic development is a challenge most anywhere you are. How can we help growth the economy in our state, region or community? How can we expand economic opportunity for our fellow citizens?

One important way is leveraging innovation and entrepreneurship. We know that up to 80% of economic growth comes from innovation, from new ideas getting to market, creating new jobs, new industries, new opportunities.

Innovation can impact a community through startups, through entrepreneurs. But it can also drive more mature companies to sustained or renewed growth, helping to retain existing jobs and creating new ones.

But harnessing the power of innovation and entrepreneurship is not an easy thing. It takes concerted effort and focus, a long-term investment and patience.

Lots of places have successfully used these strategies to make a difference in their trajectories. Has your place been part of this?

To be successful, you need a framework for understanding how innovation and entrepreneurship work, and a step-by-step process to develop a plan unique to your community’s needs.

This course provides just that.

Who Is this Course For?

If you are new to economic development, this course is for you.

If you are new to innovation and entrepreneurship, this course is for you.

If you have new employees or Board members that you want to understand the basics, this course is for you.

If you are working for a trade association or Chamber of Commerce that’s thinking about supporting innovation-based economic development, this course is for you.

If you are at a college or university and want to know how to get more local economic impact, this course is for you.

If you have years of experience in business, but have a new role in economic development, this course is for you.

What You Will Learn

When you complete our course, at your pace, at your place, you will:

  • Understand the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in economic development
  • Know how to measure innovation and entrepreneurship in your area
  • Know which policy levers you have
  • Have the basics to develop your own plan and programs
  • Know how to measure progress in your community.



1: How Does Innovation Affect Economic Development?

The 80% Rule


How the US Ranks

2: What Makes a Place Innovative?

Examples of Great Places

Things in Common

What Innovative Places Have

3: Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Carrier of Innovation

Different from Small Business

Innovation and Big Business

4. Innovation and Clusters

What’s a cluster?

How does innovation affect clusters?


5: How Innovative is my Place?

Basic Metrics

Best Metrics to Use


6: Policy and Program Framework

Six Basic Policy Types

7: Universities and R&D

Universities and Their Communities

R&D and Tech Transfer

How to Influence


8: Capital Availability

Types of Capital

How to Increase Capital Availability


9: Entrepreneurship

Types of Programs

How to Increase Entrepreneurship


10: Innovation Culture and Community

Types of Programs

How to Influence Culture


11: Innovation and Workforce

Types of Programs

How to Influence Workforce


12: Developing Your Own Plan

Assembling the Data

Identifying Opportunities

What Will Work for You


Funding Sources


And, lots of Bonuses!

  • Examples of successful programs
  • Exercises to help you develop your own plan
  • Checklists
  • White papers
  • Published plans
  • Metrics
  • Additional readings


Up to now, if you were new to economic development, or new to innovation and entrepreneurship-based economic development, you were on your own. Good luck learning about the field anyway other than the school of hard knocks.

That’s one way to go.  You can do what I did and learn on the job. For me, that’s an ongoing journey, filled with lots of missteps and missed opportunities.

Or, you can hire an expert. Speaking as a long-time consultant in economic development, of course I think this is a reasonable alternative. But I know it’s expensive, and it won’t necessarily help you learn how to do your job better.

You can go to a class. Also a fine way to go, if you have the time and ability to be out of the office for a week, the budget to cover not only the registration fees, but also the airfare, hotel, meals, and all the other incidentals. Lots of organizations simply don’t allow extensive travel, or cover this type of professional development for all their employees.

We decided to make it easy for you! We’re bringing a complete introductory course on innovation-based economic development to your desktop!

Praise for Cathy’s Book on Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

“Even a cursory reading of Dr. Renault’s primer would do wonders for most ecosystemic and/or platform developments in America, especially in locales — most of the nation — where such things haven’t already developed. When we in the California Legislature characterized, consolidated, and incented the nascent “electronic commerce” industry to locate in Silicon Valley, we applied these principles — but intuitively, without benefit of the broad intellectual and practical knowledge that Dr. Renault here shares. .  .Thank you, Catherine. A lot of us in the field, even those of us with years of experience, can do a lot of good for their clients, and avoid career-dampening failures, by following your advice.”

Bob Jacobsen


Are You Ready?

A path to innovation and creativity for your community is just a click away.

Basic Plan



For a single subscription

For a single user:

  • Instant access to 12 modules
  • Access to all bonuses
  • Access to all videos & downloads
  • Unlimited updates & support
Sign Up
VIP Plan



For a single subscription

For a single user:

  • Instant access to 12 modules
  • Access to all bonuses
  • Access to all videos & downloads
  • Unlimited updates & support
  • 5 hours consultation
Sign Up
Corporate Plan



For two subscriptions in a single organization

A 10% discount for two users in a single organization:

  • Instant access to 12 modules
  • Access to all bonuses
  • Access to all videos & downloads
  • Unlimited updates & support
  • 5 hours consultation
Sign Up


How long do I get access for?

This is lifetime access!

Who is this course for?

Just about anyone who is new or relatively new to innovation-based economic development, regardless of your background.

Can I download the modules and bonuses?

Yes, absolutely. The videos will be available for download, as well as pdfs of the slides. Bonuses will also be available.

Is there a guarantee?

Yes! Within the first 30 days of purchase, you can get a full 100% refund, no questions asked.

If you update the course, will I get access?

Absolutely yes. If we update the course, you will automatically get access to the new version.

If I have a question, how do I get an answer?

We will be available by email anytime you have a question. And, if you are a VIP subscriber, you get a full-hour of Cathy’s time for a specific conversation about your community.

Will I receive the course by mail or online?

The course is all digital, all online. So, you can access it anytime you want, wherever you are.