Cultivating an Entrepreneurial and Innovation Ecosystem — Part I

Lettuce for Days — Image Credit

Every story has its hero.

There is a sound like that of a crowded marketplace. If you listen closely, you’ll hear a beat of enthusiasm and measured confidence as people come together around the innate possibilities of entrepreneurship and startup community building. There is no shortage of headlines and excitement in today’s 21st century global landscape as founders, educators, students, civic leaders, investors, and influencers embrace the possibility of growth.

The key to success is to understand the game you’re playing and the movement of the board.

Building a thriving startup ecosystem in Northern Santa Barbara county or anywhere else for that matter takes grit, courage, and great genius. At the end of the day, 99% of success is taking the first step. As a startup community builder, we’ve had time to review our share of thought leadership on the topic of local and regional innovation strategy. Here are a few favorite tips, strategies, and thinking on the keys to building an innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem:

Know the game you’re playing.

This is not a zero sum game. There are no winners and losers. Embrace the give before you get mentality and just start leading with value. Sow positive seeds of impact and growth that you will one day harvest.

It takes a village.

Embrace the power of the crowd and collective intelligence. Build community around shared motivations and don’t be afraid to tackle challenges from multiple angles.

Ask for help.

Connect with others who are passionate around common interests. Know that you are not alone in wanting more. Help will come in all shapes and sizes.

Have a plan.

Take the time to map out your vision and goals. What will success look like? What would you consider failure? How will you get there? It’s better to sharpen twice and cut once then hack away with no clear direction.

Look up.

We often struggle with the minutia failing to take action on what could be an amazing journey. There are real lessons, resources, and virtues, within arm’s reach of genuine curiosity.

In the next series, we’ll dig deeper into strategies, tactics, and tools for making an impact one day, one connection, one idea at a time.

Let’s build something.