This is a guest post by Carmen Achabal, Program Director at IGEM (Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission).
“…I’m the map, I’m the map. . .I’m the MAP!” Having watched (what feels like) 1000 episodes of Dora the Explorer with my kids, I know the importance of Dora’s friend, the “Map”. The “Map” guides Dora’s adventures, saving her time, and averting her from risk. The “Map” helps her get to where she wants to go. Unlike Dora, Idaho entrepreneurs, startups, and businesses did not have a “Map.” Until now! In celebration of Boise Startup week – I’d like to introduce the IGEM Resource Map!
What is the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) Resource Map? The IGEM Resource Map identifies Idaho resources that are designed to help entrepreneurs, startups, and businesses. Whether it is funding that you are seeking, or need assistance filing a patent, or your product requires further research and development, the IGEM Resource Map makes it easy to visually see the entrepreneurial and business resources across the state. With a few clicks of the mouse or a few taps on the screen, the Map’s querying function enables the user to narrow his or her search by type, location, and visibility.
The Resource Map is administered by the IGEM grant program, under the direction of Idaho Commerce. The IGEM grant program funds commercialization research where industry and university partnerships work together to bring products and technologies to market. When I began my own adventure with Idaho Commerce, a large portion of my time was and still is devoted to matching customer needs to resources. Without a list of resources, I began collecting information on the organizations and programs that assist Idaho’s entrepreneurs, startups, and businesses. As I traveled throughout my home state of Idaho, colleagues in academia, economic development, and a variety of industry sectors brought to my attention the local resources in their communities. Eventually my list exponentially grew into the makings of the IGEM Resource Map!
Currently there are 178 resources cited on the Resource Map. I know there are more resources across the state. With your help, we can identify and add more to the map. Each addition to the map makes it easier to navigate the entrepreneurial ecosystem, easier for a profitable exit, and easier for Idaho companies to succeed. I would be remiss not to thank my partners at the University of Idaho, Boise State University, Idaho State University, and the Small Business Development Center, and my colleagues at Idaho Commerce for their input in the development of this Map. As Dora likes to say, lo hicimos!
In addition to being a vital resource to Idaho’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, IGEM is a valued supporter of Boise Startup Week and is a sponsor of our Pitch Competition.