But here's the twist. Communities compete with incentive packages to attract the best entrepreneurs. The communities come up with the reward.
Instead of chasing the next company moving from Michigan the Mexico with incentive deals, participating communities design incentive packages to attract these promising young entrepreneurs. My Purdue colleague, Scott Hutchison, is in the middle of the team implementing this initiative statewide. He's promoting the program to communities by encouraging them to think broadly about the different incentive packages that they can put together.
So, for example, a local health system to provide low-cost or no-cost health insurance to employees of the new company. Real estate developers could offer real estate packages that include both live and work spaces. Local restaurants could provide vouchers for free or reduced price meals. The downtown association could provide "shopping cards".
Accounting and law firms could offer reduced rate or free services. Local governments could offer a concierge service to help the new company navigate government regulations and programs. Community banks could band together to provide attractive financing packages. Angel investors could come together to mentor the new company. The local YMCA could offer free memberships. The list goes on. This initiative doesn't cost the state government a dime. At the same time, it redirects local economic developers and civic leaders to the real source of future prosperity in their communities. Brilliant.