About TIP Strategies

TIP Strategies is an economic development consulting firm, with offices in Austin and Seattle, committed to providing quality solutions for public & private sector clients.
EMCOG Selects TIP Strategies for Center of Excellence Planning
In 2014, TIP was engaged by the East Michigan Council of Governments (EMCOG) to craft an economic development strategic plan. During this process, regional stakeholders identified the development of a Center of Excellence as a high priority. Upon completion of the plan, a coalition of EMCOG and Prosperity Region #5 was awarded a state implementation grant and subsequently hired TIP to assist in developing an action plan for this initiative. The project’s goal is to leverage the assets identified in the region’s strategic planning process: the innovation taking place within the region's companies, strong entrepreneurship and technology programs within the community, and the exceptional educational institutions that serve the area.
The eight-county East Central Michigan regional effort will lead a coalition of partners to conduct an inventory of current and past statewide programs focused on industry innovation. The coalition will also work to align regional organizations and stakeholders in support of the effort; to identify national best practice models for Centers of Excellence; and to evaluate specific areas of focus, including advanced materials and technologies for the automotive industry, agricultural logistics and processing, clean technology/energy efficiency, international workforce training, and higher education services.
(Image by Geoff George via Wikimedia Commons)

Fort Collins Reaps the Benefits of Innosphere Investment
In 2012, TIP Strategies completed an economic health strategic plan for the City of Fort Collins, CO. One of the three goals of the plan was to enhance the innovation ecosystem in Fort Collins. The centerpiece of this strategy was the city's investment in Innosphere, the technology incubator in Fort Collins. As part of the project, we brought in Isaac Barchas of the Austin Technology Incubator to assess the entrepreneurial climate of the city and make recommendations on how to strengthen Innosphere's programming. We also hosted a team of stakeholders from the City of Fort Collins, Colorado State University, and Innosphere to meet with key players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Austin. This assistance provided a platform for Innosphere to become a nexus for innovation not just in Fort Collins but in the Front Range.
Since then, Innosphere has grown considerably both in Fort Collins and in the region. Through partnerships with the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and INDUSTRY, an innovation hub in downtown Denver, Innosphere has expanded beyond Fort Collins to Golden and Denver. In 2014, Innosphere reported a blockbuster year, supporting 42 companies in the region and graduating 11 companies. The group of successful Innosphere clients raised $21.3 million and created 179 jobs. Kudos to the City of Fort Collins and Innosphere for a job well-done!
(Image courtesy Rocky Mountain Innosphere)

TIP Engaged by the City of Irving for Strategic Plan
TIP was recently engaged by the City of Irving to craft an economic development strategic plan to guide the city’s growth over the next five years. Over the next several months, TIP will work closely with leadership from the city and the Greater Irving Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce to identify strategies and actions to leverage Irving’s strongest assets. Chief among these is the city’s central location within the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, which itself, is among the most centrally located large metro area in the US.
Irving's central location offers unrivaled access to both DFW Airport and Dallas-Love Field, as well as superior access to the region’s transit systems (DART light rail Orange Line and TRE commuter rail) and a diverse base of large employers (including 5 Fortune 500 HQs, several US division HQs of foreign-owned firms, and many other major corporate operations centers). In addition, the city is poised to take advantage of a number of development and redevelopment opportunities, including the downtown/Heritage district, the former Texas Stadium site, and the Las Colinas Urban Center.
This project is being undertaken concurrently with the city’s comprehensive plan update which is being led by Portland, OR-based Fregonese Associates. The Irving plan is not the first TIP-Fregonese collaboration. The two firms have partnered on several projects, including the Fregonese-led DallasForward planning initiative, which resulted in that city’s first-ever comprehensive plan.
(Image by Steve Rainwater via Flickr)

Contemplating the Future of SXSW
Austin’s recently concluded annual SXSW extravaganza raised a host of questions regarding the future of the festival. Lauren McGaughy’s insightful article for the Houston Chronicle addresses some of those concerns. Has SXSW become too big? Is it too corporate? Do we have any idea where it is headed?
TIP principal, Jon Roberts, also shared his thoughts in the article. He suggests a broader view of the festival, drawing comparisons between SXSW and two events in Germany: Okotberfest in Munich (with millions of attendees) and the smaller, more targeted dOCUMENTA in Kassel which focuses on art and film. In short, the question regarding the future of SXSW is whether the event will be reduced to a massive party that has a history of music and technology, or mature into a venue for meaningful discussions at the cutting edge of social and cultural issues.
(Image by Chris via Flickr)

Jon Roberts Presents at ULINE Corporate Headquarters
TIP Strategies has maintained a long association with KABA (the Kenosha Area Business Alliance) and southeastern Wisconsin. We first interacted with KABA in 2001, in connection with our planning effort in neighboring Racine County. In 2009, we crafted an economic development plan that underlies the organization’s Kenosha First strategy. Our ongoing relationship with KABA is something we are proud of—especially in light of the region’s recent successes. These successes include major expansions of the ULINE Corporation and Amazon, and downtown improvement projects involving Jockey International.
As a result of this connection, Jon Roberts is frequently invited back to the region. In early March, the ULINE Corporation (headquartered in Pleasant Prairie, WI) featured Jon in two sessions of their employee Lunch and Learn. Building on themes he had previously presented to KABA and the Wisconsin Economic Development Association, Jon held interactive discussions with ULINE staff about current trends in economic development and their importance for the company’s future and for the economy of Kenosha and the Chicago-Milwaukee Corridor.
The impact of “disruptive technologies”—innovations in products, services, and business models that displace existing structures—continues to be an important focal point for TIP’s trend discussions. In addition to their impact on individual business, such as ULINE, disruptive technologies—think 3-D printing, big data, the self-driving car—by definition cause massive (and often rapid) changes to supply chains, social norms, and the labor pool. In addition to changing demands for labor, the presentation touched on how these trends impact the skillsets required by employers and what needs to be done to change the talent equation.

Dispelling the Myths of Austin's Housing Bubble
Studies published in late 2014 by Trulia (in October) and bond-rating agency, Fitch (in December) proclaimed Austin as the “most overvalued” housing market in the US. While the Austin metro area does have higher housing prices than the other major Texas markets (Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio), the notion that these higher prices are the result of a bubble is worth debating. In a post for his Urban Scale blog, TIP consultant, John Karras, explores the misunderstandings surrounding Austin’s housing market.
(Image by Matthew Rutledge via Flickr)

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