Models for Cross-Border Collaboration

In the Pacific Northwest, the Portland and Vancouver metropolitan areas have together become a model for cooperative economic development across city and state boundaries. A public-private partnership, Greater Portland, Inc., has helped to elevate the region and attract several large businesses, all while uniting the region under common economic development goals. Read more in our What Works Case Study and related blog post.

Across Genres and Decades, Pyramind CEO Continues Evolving

As a recording engineer in San Francisco, Gregory J. Gordon’s work spanned genres – from classic rock to rap. As the Bay Area’s tech scene boomed, Gordon’s company, Pyramind, continued to evolve, and Gordon became well-known as a designer of video game music. Pyramind, honored by the 2015 Inner City 100 as one of the fastest-growing inner city companies, is now also a school for over 100 electronic music artists, composers, sound designers, DJs and audio engineers. Read more about Pyramind’s history and Gordon’s plans for the future of the company.

What We Discussed in 2015

At the end of December, we looked back at our most popular topics of 2015. Several were related to our current research on business finance, food resilience and anchor institutions. Our most-read blog posts included:

Pay for Success Provides a Unique Financing Model

Pay for Success programs use private investment capital to fund the delivery of social service programs, repaying investors if the programs deliver on their promised results. Although the model has seen success, it can be difficult to implement and scale. A new fund by Living Cities and Third Sector Capital Partners, the Pay for Success Construction Loan, is designed to help launch more of these projects, eliminating some of the common barriers to implementation. Read more on our blog.

ICIC on the Move

  • On December 17, our Senior Vice President and Director of Research Kim Zeuli and Senior Research Analyst Austin Nijhuis discussed our Resilient Food Systems, Resilient Cities report at a Metropolitan Area Planning Council Metro Boston Climate Preparedness Task Force meeting. The presentation focused on vulnerabilities of the food distribution system in two cities neighboring Boston, with recommendations for improving food system resilience.
  • On December 29, CEO Steve Grossman was featured in a Bay State Banner article, “Small Business Growth Contributed to Expanding Economy in 2015.” In the article, Grossman discusses the success of our Inner City Capital Connections program in the context of the growth of small businesses and entrepreneurship in Boston’s neighborhoods in 2015.
  • On January 9, Kim Zeuli was featured in a Detroit Free Press article, “To Rebuild Cities, Get Back to Basics.” In the article, Zeuli discusses the importance of connecting inner city economic development with regional economic development, an approach backed by years of ICIC research.

Announcements & Careers

  • On February 11 in Detroit, ICIC and Staples will present the 2016 Paving a Path to Growth workshop, an annual event that extends the experience of the Inner City 100 Conference and Awards, gathering business leaders for networking and an interactive discussion. Hosted at TechTown, the breakfast workshop will feature Senior Reporter Dustin Walsh of Crain’s Detroit Business and CEO panelists from top Inner City 100 companies. The CEOs will explore the ways in which they have remained true to their companies’ core values during different periods of growth. Learn more here.
  • ICIC is growing. Our research team is hiring at multiple levels: Analyst, Senior Analyst and Senior Associate. Learn more.
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