Innovation E-Teams Bring Venture Development Conversations to the Region

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TechGrowth Ohio, an outgrowth of the Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University, has developed E-Teams to bring venture development to a 20 county area in Southeastern Ohio.

Heading that project is Faith Knutsen, the Associate Director of Operations.

The purpose of the E-Teams is to encourage and inspire venture development and economic development that is technology based.

Knutsen and her staff help form teams of local business people, educators, civic groups, and public officials to discuss the specific local needs for development.  These local groups then formulate plans to effectuate some form of venture development that is specifically designed for that particular region.

Pilot programs have been started in Lawrence County as well as Marietta, Belmont County and Wellston in Jackson County.

In Lawrence Co. there is a highly active E-Team that is focusing on its tristate area including Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.  One idea they have formulated is to have a high school competition for venture development similar to a junior Shark Tank.

Other programs are also being generated by local participation in the other counties mentioned.

Knutsen has been with the Voinovich School since 2008.  Prior to that, she worked for 12 years in an executive capacity for Sunpower, Inc. of Athens, a research and development engineering firm.

She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Central Africa and segued into consulting throughout Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.  She is currently working on a project in Sub-Saharan Africa for the Institute for International Journalism at Ohio University.