SOCAP Update

Oct 6, 2010 12:55 PM ET

SOCAP really hit its stride here on Tuesday.  With even more sessions on the schedule across twelve parallel conference tracks, it was even more difficult to decide where to go when.

Once again you can find complete coverage of these sessions on the main SOCAP site and once again Mission Markets offers you a few highlights here.

With so many excellent choices, it was tough to decide which was the best talk of the day.  But after much deliberation the Mission Markets Team voted for the session on "Mapping the Space of Marketplaces", which just happened to feature Mission Markets CEO Mike Van Patten.

To those of you who might accuse us of prejudice, we ask you to consider that CNBC and Yahoo! Finance also selected Mike's contribution as its featured SOCAP coverage of the day!

To be fair, Mike was not alone on the stage of the Cowell Auditorium, SOCAP's largest and most highly featured venue.  The panel also included representatives from Microplace, NeXii, and The Hoop.

After brief individual introductions of these variations on the theme of impact-driven marketplaces, there was a highly interactive discussion on the state of the on-line market space.

Some of the most significant ideas from that discussion included the challenges of working in what has historically been a highly fragmented investment space, the importance of the adoption of standards, and predictions for the volume of transactions to increase dramatically in the very near future.

Another hidden gem in today's jam-packed schedule was the "Deep Dive Into the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative."  This panel brought together the Rockefeller Foundation, the Cleveland Foundation and Veris Wealth Management to share their promising new model for revitalizing urban neighborhoods in Cleveland.

Cleveland is a city clearly suffering from all the social and economic ills that plagued rust-belt cities across the midwest.  But the city is fighting back with new cooperative businesses that not only generate desperately needed new jobs and services for local anchor institutions, but also build ownership and wealth for communities where the median income is less than $20,000.

This strategy develops businesses that not only generate jobs but the opportunity for residents to have a financial stake in the companies that are rebuilding their community.  The Evergreen Initiative is about connecting anchor institutions to the businesses that generate jobs and wealth.  We hope SOCAP invites them back next year to report on their progress.

Tomorrow is Wednesday and SOCAP's swan song, at least for 2010.  As in previous years, the last day's format is wide-open, with the agenda set mainly by the attendees themselves.

Anything can happen in such an environment, so please stay tuned to this channel for our report on how SOCAP's final day unfolds.

- The Mission Markets Team