Joining us are three guests who lead innovation efforts in Richardson, Texas, known for the “Telecom Corridor.” The Richardson Innovation Quarter (IQ) lies within the city, a 1,200 square foot land where innovative companies and entrepreneurs collaborate.
The Richardson Innovation Quarter
Paul Voelker has been in the Richardson, Texas area for over thirty years. To Paul, being mayor is his way of giving back to the community. Richardson has a wealth of innovation history behind it. At the time when Paul became Mayor, Richardson's innovation focus was on large companies. He and his team decided to shift the focus from large companies to entrepreneurs and startups. Doug McDonald leveraged Richardson's history and the city's connection with the University of Texas – Dallas. His task was implementing the mayor's vision to bring new innovative companies and individuals to Richardson,
An innovation partnership with UT Dallas has been a key factor in IQ's growth. Dr. Joseph Pancrazio is the Vice President for Research at UT Dallas in Richardson and is part of the Innovation Quarter. The partnership's primary focus is revitalizing the IQ through specialized innovation efforts. The university believes that its partnership with the City of Richardson is the beginning of something unique.
Paul and the city team understand and embrace the fact that they live in a global marketplace. UT-Dallas exemplifies this marketplace with the diversity of its students. Dr. Pancrazio says that UT-Dallas has 200 national merit scholars and that the students have created a culture of excellence. Paul emphasizes the diverse group of talented students in the city during talks with businesses about moving there. In my opinion, it is that diversity that often brings excellent ideas.
Vision of the Richardson Innovation Quarter
In terms of selling the vision of the new IQ, the biggest obstacle that Doug deals with is running a major hub to showcase the area's uniqueness. Through the partnership with Dr. Pancrazio and UT-Dallas, this hub is in the works. UT-Dallas offers the companies in Richardson the opportunity to acquire research from them, often sparking innovations.
In Richardson, places like the Richardson Innovation Quarter create value, culture, and ultimately wealth. This wealth is what drives many innovative ideas. It then gets reinvested back into institutions, companies, and the highly educated workforce in the area. There is power in the vision held by both teams; Mayor Voelker's and the University of Dallas, Richardson's.
About our Guests: Paul Voelker, Doug McDonald, Dr. Joseph Pancrazio
Paul Voelker is the current Mayor of Richardson, Texas, and a Business Development Executive at Lone Star Analysis. After receiving his BA in Business Administration from William Penn University, Paul went to work for HP, where he took on numerous roles in his twenty-eight years with the company. He is a sales and marketing executive with experience in business development, marketing, and portfolio and alliance management.
Doug McDonald is the Strategic Initiatives Manager at the City of Richardson, under Mayor Paul Voelker.
Dr. Joseph Pancrazio is the Vice President for Innovation & Research at the City of Richardson under Mayor Paul Voelker.
To know more about the Richardson Innovation Quarter (IQ), listen to this week's show: Richardson Innovation Quarter (IQ).