Carl Schramm

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

In an essay in Forbes Magazine, entrepreneurship expert and Syracuse native Carl Schramm knocks his hometown for forgetting its innovative roots and potentially dooming its future.

Schramm is the former president of the Kauffman Foundation, an organization that supports entrepreneurship. He returned to Syracuse in the fall to become a University Professor at Syracuse University. The Innovation Trail spoke with him in September.

Schramm writes in the article that up until the Great Depression, Syracuse could lay claim to being one of the most highly educated, healthiest, wealthiest and most innovative cities in the country. Its "civic distinctions" today - like its high poverty rate, low tax base and poor high school graduation rate - are "embarrassing," Schramm says.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

There is a political debate going on this fall about government's role in supporting entrepreneurship and innovation.

It comes at a time when upstate New York continues to try and reinvent its economy. Small business incubators and accelerator programs are cropping up. The state has also made a major investment in creating a nanotech industry.

"The narrative that government is important? I don’t believe it’s true," says Carl Schramm.

Schramm is the former president of the Kauffman Foundation and also helped launch the Startup America Partnership. He is a fellow at the George W. Bush Institute's 4% Growth Project writing about entrepreneurship and economic development.