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Innovation Economy

Look to the Patriots for scouting expertise

With the National Football League’s draft ­approaching next month, you can bet that every team has carefully constructed its list of the most promising college players they hope to add to their rosters.

What if Massachusetts devoted the same resources to scouting the next generation of entrepreneurs as NFL teams devote to finding their next great wide receiver? (The Patriots alone have 21 employees focused solely on identifying and cultivating future players.) Entrepreneurs, after all, can have a far bigger impact on the local economy than football stars, no matter how many seats they fill or jerseys they sell.

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