Building Strategic Partnerships for Technology Entrepreneurship


This paper examines the process of developing a collaborative environment for moving technological innovations toward market channels via technology entrepreneurship. The AgTech Initiative in northern Illinois serves as a case study in this context. This paper outlines the process of attracting aspirant entrepreneurs and engaging strategic partners and key stakeholders. The AgTech partnership has been intentionally designed to facilitate and complement the strategic "Smart Growth" plans of a modestly sized county in northern Illinois through public private linkages between an economic development agency and a university. The AgTech Initiative's focus is to spark entrepreneurial activity -with strategic linkages to agriculturally derived biomass and to production/manufacturing- for job creation and increased economic activity. Based on emerging trends and market dynamics, opportunities exist to further develop this effort for expanded reach and even greater economic impact. A three-pronged partnership model is described to outline a process for engaging stakeholders for collaborative synergies. It must be noted that this process is not deterministic and that it should be tailored to specific situations. Given the inherent dynamics of entrepreneurship and technology based economic development, the process of nurturing new technology commercialization outcomes is often challenging. This effort seeks to share from the AgTech case in order to provide engineering managers with added insights for emerging technology transfers and entrepreneurial developments. These insights may help build knowledge that will generalize to a range of different scenarios aimed at new strategic opportunities for engineering managers.

Meeting Name

30th Annual National Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management (2009: Oct. 14-17, Springfield, MO)


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Strategic Management Of Technology; Technology Based Entrepreneurship And Economic Development; University Industry Collaboration; Value Chain Partnership; Collaborative Environments; Economic Development; Entrepreneurial Activity; Technological Innovation; Commerce; Management; Managers; Mergers And Acquisitions; Technology Transfer

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2009 American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM), All rights reserved.

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