Follow Girard Linkedin Twitter Facebook
Email Girard Email
Business Growth
Mar 15, 2021

Planning For Prosperity With Innovation Neighborhoods

Sponsored Content provided by Girard Newkirk - Co-founder & CEO , Genesis Block

What is an innovation neighborhood?
 
Plainly stated, an innovation neighborhood is a dense hub of social and economic activity where innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, and community collaboration intersect. They are neighborhoods that are capable of attracting a unique creative community of innovators but are inclusive regardless of the education level or economic class. Their inclusive nature is ideal for community collaboration and to provide a framework for equity in entrepreneurship particularly in under resourced communities.
 
Would the innovation neighborhood concept be a fit for Wilmington, North Carolina?
 
According to the Startup Genome, https://startupgenome.com/, Wilmington has the 91st best startup ecosystem in the world. Founders lead the way, but local governments, anchor institutions and the community at large would benefit from planned neighborhoods designed to build on the existing startup infrastructure in Wilmington. Intentional planning aimed at fostering entrepreneurial inclusion would make these neighborhoods a hub for collaboration, business development, and community prosperity.
 
A study conducted by United Van Lines, showed that Wilmington was the #1 city for inbound moves in the United States in 2020. We all know that Wilmington is a great place to live but now we have data to prove the rest of the country thinks so too. The residual effects of Covid-19 have created a “remote workforce” that is not bound to corporate offices of major metropolitan areas. Innovation neighborhoods would provide the ideal environment to lure these creatives into our community to drive innovation.
 
Live Oak Bank, nCino, the expansion of the Port of Wilmington, PPD, and robust transportation networks make Wilmington and the Cape Fear region an ideal location for high growth and economic activity. We could harness these components in a dense hub setting anchored by innovation neighborhoods to accelerate community prosperity in our region.
 
Innovation Neighborhoods vs Gentrification
 
The innovation neighborhood model allows communities to grow with revitalization efforts, not be replaced. Growth and change are inevitable, however current residents want to make sure that they are included in the process with cultural preservation, contract procurement, and community access being prioritized. Innovation neighborhoods bring together communities with capital resources, facilities, and programming to drive collaboration.
 
For example, the ten companies that are members of the first cohort of the Genesis Block Minority Accelerator could form the foundation for a vibrant neighborhood. There are 3 companies in the food services sector, 2 health and wellness companies, 1 company in specialized athletic training, 2 real estate companies, creative arts, and digital printing round out the cohort. Imagine if these companies had a district or innovation neighborhood prepared for their growth as they receive capital to scale. The positive impacts to the community and Cape Fear region as whole would be exponential.
 
The future of Genesis Block as an anchor institution for minority and women owned business development is to support the expansion of innovation neighborhoods as a bridge to equity in entrepreneurship. Community, collaboration, and creativity will thrive in these environments.


Girard Newkirk is the Co-founder and CEO of Genesis Block. He is also the Founder of KWHCoin and is a native of Pender County. He moved back to the Wilmington area by way of San Jose, California in November of 2018. In 2019, his company KWHCoin won the Coastal Entrepreneur Award for Emerging Company which focused on the company’s work with combining renewable energy and blockchain technology to provide off-grid energy solutions. In 2020, he was named to the Top 100 Business Leaders in Wilmington by the Greater Wilmington Business Journal for his work with Genesis Bock and Building the Entrepreneur Class. Genesis Block, in partnership with NC IDEA and New Hanover County, has developed the Genesis Block Back on the Block Minority Accelerator to advance entrepreneurship in minority communities.

Gbicon transparent
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Burrus rob headshot 300x300

Addressing Real-World Fiscal Issues: UNCW College Fed Challenge Team Takes Second Place

Robert Burrus - Cameron School of Business - UNC-Wilmington
Katiebraskett web

September 2022 Freight Market Update

Katie Braskett - MegaCorp Logistics
Kellyerola headshot lcflc

Hospice Care in Nursing Homes Provides Needed Specialized Care

Kelly Erola - Lower Cape Fear LifeCare

Trending News

Chamber Announces New Board Leaders, Members

Staff Reports - Jan 24, 2023

Shopping Center Planned In Leland, Could Include Publix

Staff Reports - Jan 23, 2023

Potential Tenants Already Interested In Leasing Parts Of Former PPD Building, Officials Say

Cece Nunn - Jan 23, 2023

Commercial Real Estate Firm Announces Hirings, Promotions

Staff Reports - Jan 24, 2023

County Moves To Purchase $1.5M Facility, Approves $5.6M Elections Building

Johanna F. Still - Jan 24, 2023

In The Current Issue

New App Hooks Seafood Connections

Landon Hill is the founder and owner of the mobile app that seeks to promote local fishers and make it easier for buyers to find fresh seafo...


Preserving Wealth, For Family And History

Plans for major improvements fell by the wayside, delayed by life and the home’s overwhelming degree of deterioration, which placed the prop...


Facility Owner Puts His Chips On The Table

With more than 15 years of experience in the wood chip industry, Taner Basaga has maintained key relationships with loggers in the region. “...

Book On Business

The 2022 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2022 Power Breakfast: Wilmington's Most Intriguing People - Spence Broadhurst & Hannah Gage
2022 Power Breakfast: Wilmington's Most Intriguing People - George Taylor
2022 Power Breakfast: Wilmington's Most Intriguing People - Mike Ford
2022 Power Breakfast: Wilmington's Most Intriguing People - Meaghan Dennison
2022 Power Breakfast: Wilmington's Most Intriguing People - Rhonda Bellamy