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We're championing a new geography of innovation in America.

America has a new generation who thirsts for tech-driven opportunities and a better quality of life away from the stress and cost of big-city living. In turn, America’s emerging cities have a new opportunity for revitalization and growth. This is where Waymaker Group comes in. Whatever stage you might be at - planning, funding, implementation or development - we accelerate opportunities for emerging cities to create thriving innovation districts.


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Innovation Ecosystem Study

We conduct engaging, on-location discovery sessions and stakeholder interviews. We then analyze existing assets, programmatic drivers, and market demand to deliver an Innovation Ecosystem Study with the foundational information you need to secure funding and develop strategic initiatives to grow your innovation economy. 


See our Innovation Ecosystem Study in action.


Narrative Development

Waymaker will develop a compelling narrative and value proposition based on your region's unique history and assets. This will include strategic communication tools for use in casting your vision, fundraising, and pursuing additional champions.  


Strategic Framework

We synthesize our Innovation Ecosystem Study findings into a ready-to-implement Strategic Framework with clear recommendations around the following areas of importance: funding, cluster development, workforce development, community development, real estate development (including placemaking), DEI initiatives, and organizational capacity.



Cluster Development

Drawing on regional strength, we help you zero in on distinct opportunities for economic clusters. We outline specific action items to pursue such opportunities in a Cluster Implementation Plan and bring decision-makers together to develop diverse programming for each cluster. 


Cluster Funding Strategy 

We prepare you to receive public and private funding that best suits your city. We tap into our funding database to identify applicable funding sources and run them through our vetting process. This includes recent historic grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF grants) and the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA grants).  We then help you develop the narrative and necessary components to pursue your chosen public and/or private grant opportunities.


See our Cluster Funding Strategy in action.  


Governance & Organizational Capacity

We help you form a focused, nonprofit governing body that works in unison with community stakeholders to speed up the transition from vision alignment to real-world implementation. This includes developing funding and staffing strategies to ensure organizational sustainability. 


See our Governance Strategy in action.


Master Plan Guidance

We work with you to develop a Master Plan RFQ and help you select the most-qualified firms. We ensure that your vision and existing assets are integrated into the plan and we serve as your district’s liaison — coordinating and collaborating with all project stakeholders. 


Real Estate Funding Strategy 

We conduct a Real Estate Demand Analysis to outline needs for shared resource buildings and related physical assets that will support the growth of the cluster(s) and your greater innovation ecosystem. We then help you efficiently explore, identify, and pursue funding opportunities that you can leverage to revitalize infrastructure and enhance the character and well-being of your innovation district.


Building Advisory 

With an eye toward innovation district best practices, we collaborate with you and your selected vendors to determine the specific uses of each building to ensure a proper mix of use, density, and user experience is delivered. We also help develop a building-specific growth plan.


Tenant Curation 

We help you find and qualify like-minded tenants who will drive economic growth and contribute to your district’s long-term collective vision. We will engage prospects by developing customized pitch decks and other district brand messaging materials. 


Tenant Services

We provide pre-construction project management, develop district value propositions, and provide project information specific to tenant needs. This includes confidential, third-party communications to ensure a seamless transition from prospect to vested tenant partner. 

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Our Approach

We approach projects with an eagerness to understand what makes your community unique because we believe emerging cities have the greatest potential for success when they stay true to their roots. 


“As an investor, there’s no better group to have in my corner than Waymaker. Their ability to grasp long-range technology trends, along with their uncanny ability to read individual talent makes picking market winners that much easier.” 

- Blair Garrou, Managing Director, Mercury Fund

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