How Does One Launch A Startup Community?
Before we talk about ingredients for building a thriving startup ecosystem, let’s explore the importance of opportunity.
Entrepreneurs create a business often out of choice in place of necessity.
For instance, in California alone the “Opportunity Share of New Entrepreneurs” stands around 77.57% according to the Kauffman Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Index.
The Opportunity Share of New Entrepreneurs can be defined as:
The percent of the total number of new entrepreneurs who were not unemployed and not looking for a job as they started the new business. This distinction is useful because it offers some insight into the influence of economic conditions on overall business creation. (Source: Kauffman Entrepreneurship Index)
Choice is the deliberate push toward positive progress and opportunity. Inspiration takes many forms. An idea can strike at just the right moment fueling an individual to take action and begin the domino effect of laying the ground work for the essential building blocks of a vibrant startup community.
For startup communities to thrive, you need the following core ingredients:
Ideas — A flood of fresh possibility. Density of ideas worth building is a fundamental building block of a startup hub. The more ideas flowing the greater attraction you’ll have to investor interest and capital infusion.
People — An essential resource for building out a flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystem. Every good community needs a vibrant mix of makers, inventors, creators, students, educators, investors, mentors, entrepreneurs, storytellers, connectors, wall breakers, place makers, and anybody willing to add value.
Connections — Where people and ideas can come together in meaningful ways. A sense of place is a powerful ingredient for building a creative hub. Meaningful connection can be facilitated through ongoing engaging events like networking mixers, meetups, pitch events, bootcamps, workshops, and community focused co-working spaces. Let people break bread together.
Inclusivity — Let everyone have a seat at the table. There is no room for turf wars, ivory towers, zero-sum wire pulling, gate keepers, or bad actors of any sort. Keep it friendly. Share the good vibes. Be real to get real. Embrace authenticity. Be in it together. Produce what you promise. You’ve heard it said before: Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas.
Talent — Every good startup community needs talent. Universities, skills boot camps, career technical education, professional training, online learning platforms, and knowledge building solutions are all key ingredients for adding to the talent pool required for a startup community to thrive. Every organization should be thinking about the future of work and how to build up its people from a skill development perspective. Investing in skills and upward mobility raises the tide of possibility enabling a community to cultivate its own creative class.
Key question: How can a community build its own creative economy?
By investing in what some term a reskilling imperative. If ideas are the currency of the 21st century, relevant skills affording an individual the ability to build out their ideas is an absolute essential.
And how we learn and unlearn is ever changing in a complex world.
According to IBM:
The changes created by the pandemic, the accelerating impact of automation and the increase of the human lifespan all create a skilling imperative that is not time bound. The future of work demands much greater volume, velocity, and variety of learning for the enterprise and for employees. Leaders must create a culture of continuous learning that increases organizational resilience. Employees must become continuous learners to keep their skills up to date for success in their current role, and they must reskill periodically to advance their career or to jump into a new high-demand role. Organizations must embed learning directly into work design so that people who need to acquire new skills can do it as needed on the job. Agile learning is the discipline for making this happen.
Entrepreneurial ecosystem development with a focus on entrepreneurship and strategic skill development can help reinvigorate a community and align its critical resources for the future. Are you ready?
Entrepreneurship is a localized phenomenon often overlooked if not intentionally cultivated.
Let’s build together.