Since 2013, we’ve worked with cities all across the United States to build strong communities and economies.
We do this in partnership with local leaders, governments, real estate developers, and family offices. Our process unleashes the creative potential of a town, creates investable companies, and creates demand on real estate properties. We help people and places flourish.


We're looking forward to working with you to unlock your potential.


Sam Eshelman

Brooksville, FL
Before he joined IC, Sam worked for a Tampa-based nonprofit that educated people about building startups as well as for a Brooksville community college. When IC collaborated with the community college, he realized the power of entrepreneurship in Brooksville. IC was the next logical step up in his personal mission to make a difference.

“I've been around education most of my life, but I'm after what traditional education can't quite touch. It's taken me from PA to Texas and Florida. I'm inspired by others - and their courage drives my curiosity.”


Kirsten Rowley

Coeur d’Alene, ID
Kirsten or, as most people know her, Kirt, took a leap of faith and joined IC in March 2022 after working in the hospitality and service industries. Now she shares her communication skills, project and team management expertise, passion for community and dedication to service to inspire others to make their exciting ideas real while growing IC’s culture and reach.

“We are a community of people who believe that every one of us is capable of changing the world in our own way with the right people around us and the right systems in place.”


Karissa Winters

Victoria, TX
Community Lead for Victoria since late 2021, creative entrepreneur and artist Karissa has written children’s books and songs, created movie and TV scripts, started a clothing line, a product line, an art gallery and a publishing company. She’s also co-creator and curator of a film festival in Victoria. For Karissa, IC means bringing a community together to work on their big ideas and promoting entrepreneurship.

“My personal mission is to connect, help and empower people to be their best self. I see the words Innovation Collective coming to stand for fulfilling entrepreneurial dreams, as a global brand that brings communities together.”

Jenn Farwell

Program Manager
Before IC, Jenn was working in government economic development – from federal to local and every level in between. She has been with IC since 2021 and is driven by her desire to inspire people to find their purpose and walk with them as they take the steps they were nervous to take alone.

“A woman showed up with an idea she thought was crazy. At Coffee and Concepts, the group told her it was amazing. Two weeks later came back with her LLC papers in hand. That’s why we do what we do.”


Nick Smoot

Founder and CEO
Nick, who grew up in small town America, founded Innovation Collective after building three tech startups in the real estate, business relationships and education sectors, and exiting three. Since then, he’s invested in eleven more. For Nick, Innovation Collective means people discovering themselves, the magic they possess, and unleashing this as a change agent in their world.

“When I watched a man who was living on the streets pitch his startup idea at one of our Story Summits, immediately before another venture-backed startup, I realized that we’ve succeeded in building a model that has better on-ramps to capitalism.”

Jens Bachem

Product Manager
Before IC, Jens ran his own successful communications agency building communities for clients in media, technology and consumer goods. For Jens, IC is a model for bringing people together to do creative work and make an impact. It’s about building campfires of positivity around which people can gather and transform their lives from the ground up.

“IC is a mission thing for me. I’m all about giving people a model to develop sustainable ecosystems and a structure built on success to bring their big ideas to life. This is where the real magic lies.”


Garen Moreno

Director of Operations
A global business development executive and 3X entrepreneur with over twenty years’ experience, Garen is also a musician and electronic music producer. He was Director of Strategic Partnership with BMW’s Designworks global consultancy before he joined IC. Present for the early years of IC, Garen formally joined at the beginning of 2020.

“IC is part huge idea, part huge results. It’s about creating authentic connections in towns and cities, helping each other, and building together. Every day we make an enormous, positive impact on someone’s life.”


Doug Smoot

Facilities Manager
Doug has been with Innovation Collective since the very beginning, doing what’s necessary. He has worked in the automotive service industry, building management, internet marketing, and working with nonprofits. For Doug, IC means the opportunity for individuals to grow in their personal and business life. He believes that, as IC continues to shape the future of work and growth of communities, the potential is enormous.

“To succeed in our ambitious vision of having IC communities all over America that unlock the potential of people from all walks of life, we need a solid foundation. I help deliver this.”