The organisers of ICMLG'14 provided delegates with a treat to cap of the first day of the conference—a guided visit to the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC). After a somewhat circuitous transfer from Babson to CIC—in a yellow grade school bus no less—we were provided with a guided tour of the facility, after which we were given the opportunity to interact with many of the people that work there. The CIC is a huge facility. It's quite unlike anything I had seen before. Some notable points about the CIC (for me at least) included:
The concept of providing a large-scale facility for startups to come together, rub shoulders with each other and with supporting enterprises (from food, gym and back-office support, to funders, lawyers and other large-scale firms) makes sense. My early view is that this type of facility runs rings around incubators and small-scale clusters that you see elsewhere. The vital difference is the support of the large firms and the resources they bring.
We spent a couple of hours on the site, including receiving a briefing on the Smart Cities concept, before moving off to dinner at the Charthouse—a relaxing cap to a busy day.
I personally also liked the idea of the Venture Cafe. Weekly sessions were companies can pitch their ideas and everybody is welcome to join in to share ideas.
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Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and boardcraft; our place in the world; and other topics that catch my attention.