In November of 2000, the Center convened the first session of the State Policy Academy on Entrepreneurship in Palm Springs, California. The session served as an opportunity for states to focus on what kind of strategy they should implement to address the need of building entrepreneurship capacity in their state economy and communities.
Experts in entrepreneurship provided state teams with a robust foundation on the topic and provided concrete examples of the contribution of entrepreneurship to economic competitiveness, clarification of the differences between technology-based and entrepreneurial approaches to economic development, and the distinction between small business and entrepreneurship policy. The academy's faculty also guided state teams through the decision-making process and provided on-site tailored technical assistance.
By the end of the first academy session, each state team had identified the state's most pressing needs and developed the framework for an overall strategy. The time between the first session and the second session permitted the state team to develop their strategy in greater detail and depth.