More than 300 business leaders, policymakers, and innovators flocked to Chicago last week to participate in the 2014 Reinventing America Summit presented by Forbes Media. The focus of the conference, “Leading the Next Industrial Revolution,” spurred powerful dialogue on the future of the American economy and the nation’s ability to remain competitive in the global arena. Intellectual Property (IP) was an important linchpin in that conversation, as evidenced by its repeated mention throughout the two day conference.
I had the pleasure of joining Mark Kvamme, Co-founder and Partner at Drive Capital, and Josh Linkner, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner at Detroit Venture Partners, on a panel titled “Reinventing Finance.” Discussion focused primarily on the new investment vehicles funding American innovation but also covered the overall availability of capital outside of Silicon Valley. From my perspective at Ocean Tomo, companies of all sizes are beginning to slowly “reinvent” IP and recognize its role as a valuable asset no different from plant or equipment that can be leveraged for financial purposes. Home to the first open-cry auction for patent transactions and the first traded exchange for traded IP rights, Chicago has become a hub for such activity.
Other panels ranged from 3D printing to transportation and featured speakers including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Bill Ford of the Ford Motor Company, David Cote of Honeywell, and many other notable names in business and government.
TechNexus, Ocean Tomo’s venture collaborative partner, served as the Summit’s entrepreneurial partner, advising the audience on the ways in which industry leaders can “unlock innovation” by aligning the right entrepreneurs and disruptors with the right corporate partners.
It was a revealing and thought-provoking two days and I am honored to have been included in such an influential group. For more coverage of the Forbes Reinventing America Summit, click here.