Owensboro Focuses on Attracting Entrepreneurs
The basic goal for economic development in any region is generally to go out and attract big manufacturers that create lots of jobs.
That’s still important. But Joe Berry, vice president of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation, says there’s a big advantage in tapping into the nation’s entrepreneurial spirit. Berry says it starts with local talent launching startups in technology, life sciences and traditional small business.
“An evolving and growing part of our local economy is companies that are operating in this kind of space," said Berry. "So, the purpose of the incubator was to truly to grow and foster those kinds of new companies in this region and help further diversify our economy and create the companies of tomorrow.”
He says public-private partnerships like the Owensboro Centre for Business and Research provide office and laboratory space, including $2M in shared lab equipment, and that helps attract talent.
“If you look at economic data and trends that are emerging around the globe, we are, quite frankly, in a global war for talent," said Berry. "Regions that are able to attract and retain talent are the ones that are going to remain economically competitive in the long run.”
A dozen of those companies are in the 37,000 square-foot Owensboro Centre for Business and Research. The center also includes a new regional high school, Owensboro Innovation Academy, which opened earlier this month.