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Problem: How do we nurture Los Angeles as a startup destination ?
Encouraging more startups to come to LA increases the interesting opportunities–for employees, venture firms, service providers, and the economy –and spawns more startup success and activity
To be a “startup destination”, LA must be seen as a beneficial place to make your company succeed:
an area where there are lots of quality startups
be with both other startups and possible partners
a supportive environment for funding and growing a company
West LA has increasingly become a place for startups, due to proximity to consumer Internet firms like Fox Interactive Media/MySpace; for others, because of the studio/Hollywood influence, and for others, just because of the “technology scene.”
Provided these are startups who can either can gain funding, or bootstrap into a profitable and sustainable business, this initial “settling” can grow
SV vs LA: Startup Resources Red dots are technology companies. Green dots are venture capital firms. Blue dots are service providers (lawyers, PR firms, real estate agents, focused on high tech). - Benjamin Kuo’s Blog, SoCalTech.com
Solution: Do Something Worth Talking About… The Code Show
There are already a lot of great groups in LA that provide great business, recruiting and community building services
Bring more attention to the existing clubs - pick key elements of Geek Dinners, BarCamp, Mixergy, Social Media Club, Mindshare and ask them to “guest star” for a sponsored, structured, and more competitive version of Startup Weekend
Sponsor a contest that brings together the best of the existing groups and identifies gaps, encourage people to start clubs that fill in the gaps
Start by developing a key core around Product Managers – The people who handle incorporating revenue models, marketing, technology and other key elements into viable, salable products
Tie it to upgrading process and design principals behind our products
Provide them with a cheap and easy fundraiser they can hold to cover costs (Chicken and egg issue: Time to do it when you’re unemployed, but no money to even cover network membership fees)
Help tech startups improve marketing, PR, and recruiting on an affordable budget, highlight available business services in the community
Repackage it into an easily repeatable program that can be run in adjacent counties: Orange County, San Diego, Santa Barbara
Underlying Magic or Technology: The Scrum Club System
Product + user group + fundraiser + educational program + contest = prepackaged, affordable way to spread sustainable community building within your team and company, with a theme related to Scrum: a new, expensive process to roll out that has to be focused on continually to yield cost savings/benefits… For less than $10* a person.
Free to try
Cheap to buy
Low overhead to sustain
Can be run by support staff
Supports charities & makes world a better place
Potentially tax deductible
* = Only less than $10 if you buy in bulk or a pirated version
Offer a 12 month sponsorship program that changes the community and significantly raises your company’s profile. Run a 1 day event that really knocks people’s socks off
Create a “second leg” contest for marketing and PR… Who’s the best social media consultant in Los Angeles?
Use free Corporate Espionage decks to draw the attention of user groups around the country… LA is already sexy… Now make them extra jealous
Consider the “MTV Real World” aspect of a traveling road show (The Code Show) and the lifestyle nature of the brand “Corporate Espionage”, hit up the companies that want to sell to our demographic: new grads and young professionals with disposable income. Energy drink manufacturers, apparel
Hit up the business services companies that want to sell to second generation startups
Expect that this contest will look a lot like Nascar… a lot of logos, tightly spaced for small amounts of money
Focus on the customer service to our advertisers. How we can meet their needs… Bridge into solutions analysis.
Direct Sales – Volunteers personally call contacts (or start flipping through the phonebook). With enough on-target marketing, sales for this should be relatively straight forward.
Expect a rise in willingness to sponsor with a successful launch of product.
We have a strong startup community here in LA that is the result of many people working very hard and putting a lot of themselves into the community.
A contest is a great way to highlight the work that they have done and create space for new stars to rise. We’ve already seen new groups start that serve project managers, product managers, and agile developers.
Please consider sponsoring the contest. Your generous donation goes to help strengthen the startup community and create professional groups that support their staff.
(We also need volunteers!)
Summary and Call to Action
We wait with baited breath for your email. Contact Scrum Club Amanda Abelove amanda @ scrumclub.org www.masterofespionage.com www.scrumclub.org