Tomorrow’s Winning Cities

June 20, 2016

How does Dayton become a successful hub for technology innovation, company creation, and import talent over the next wave of the digital revolution? 1776’s Innovation That Matters report highlight’s that the shift to a digital economy provides a “massive opportunity” for the regions to be successful. 


As we highlighted in a prior blog post, Dayton Tech Guide spent a day at 1776, in Washington D.C., for the Startup Community and Investor Forum to learn about the next wave and how other communities are pivoting for the next shift in the digital economy. 

What is the next wave?

Steve Case, the co-founder of AOL and current CEO & Chairman of Revolution, lays it out in his new book “The Third Wave” (Which we will review soon). The first wave built the foundation to get consumers on the internet, think AOL. The second wave connected consumers to the information and networking, think Google or Facebook. The third wave will be different though. The third wave will disrupt industry sectors vs general IT and “in the process transform the way we live.”

Or as it was stated at the forum:

How do we get there?

1776 states the playbook for the future includes the following four items:

  • Understand the inevitable trajectory of the digital economy: The third wave means embracing technology in every role of our life–healthcare, infrastructure, education, government, etc. 

As a community, Dayton must be leaders in adopting new technology and “question long-held norms of how we live and work.”

  • Imagine a new future that includes its history: The third wave will pit technological innovation against entrenched and regulated industries. 

For Dayton, clear opportunities lay in manufacturing and healthcare. 

  • Focus on startups…but go beyond them: Successful hubs cannot ignore corporations, government, and nonprofits.

In Dayton, avenues can be created to accelerate technology development by engaging end users and addressing problems.

  • Work toward a proactive governing framework: “New rules are required for the new era”

1776 states that, “Governments, together with startups and corporations, ought to proactively re-examine the body of regulation through the lens of technological possibility”

What do we need to get there?

In their review of 25 startup hubs, 1776 looked at six factors needed to capitalize on the “third wave”:

  • Talent: Does the city have the workforce it needs?
  • Capital: Has the city mobilized adequate financial resources?
  • Industry Specialization: As tech evolves from general IT to specialized sectors, is the city ready to capitalize on this shift?
  • Density: Is the community concentrated enough to form a cohesive identity?
  • Connectivity: Are the city’s key actors well integrated with the startup community?
  • Culture: Does the city have the mindset and lifestyle to attract entrepreneurs?

Dayton will need to take a hard look at these six factors on our path to success. These are the factors, as identified by 1776, that will get us from point a to point b.