The Global Commercialization Group (GCG) of the IC² Institute at The University of Texas at Austin has been implementing economic development programs for over a decade. Through work in thirteen different countries and with a variety of players, GCG has experienced both great successes and frustrating challenges. GCG’s mission is to help regions around the world help innovation-based businesses succeed, providing opportunities for citizens to prosper. GCG's clients often come with either high expectations – "We’ll be the next Silicon Valley!" – or soured attitudes – "We just paid a consulting company millions for a program that did nothing." What’s the formula for creating real successes—ones that matter to those footing the bill and ones that will matter to the people most in need of opportunities? Here, in brief, are five lessons learned in the course of delivering dozens of initiatives.