While Silicon Valley remains a leading pillar of innovation, it's certainly not the nation's only one. Innovation hotspots continue to pop up across the country, enjoying relatively a high rate of growth. "I think that everybody's got the message on innovation," said Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS) Founder David J. Brophy, Director and Professor of Finance at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. "Every university wants to improve the pure research that it's doing. It's getting a little more difficult because of federal budget difficulties; it's tougher to get dollars from the research agencies, and you've got to learn to live with less. That should, and probably has, put pressure on the universities to speed up their commercialization and the rate at which they change invention into innovation, which really is the transition that happens when we license to a big company or when we license to a startup."
Brophy noted that the market continually cries out for innovation, especially in the areas of healthcare and technology, so there is always room for new ideas and investment. "I think it's in the self-interest of every locale to recognize that the application of knowledge-based industry is one of the keys to continued employment," he said. "It's just a natural evolution.We've got bumps occasionally that slow us down, but the trend is there."
The MGCS strives to bring together all parties of the innovative process from Michigan, the Midwest, and across the country. "This is one of the most durable engines of innovation that we have," said Brophy. "It's where startups and investment capital and technology meet. We always try to present that mix, and we welcome all people with any interest to join and to get involved. Whether you've got a startup, an idea, money to invest, or if you want to just show up and meet these people. This is the place to be - and 33 years of existence has to mean something in that respect."