The EntrepreneurialEcosystemPart 3: Dr. Michael R. Burcham10 Critical Steps inBuilding an e. firstname.lastname@example.orgEntrepreneurial w. t. www.michaelburcham.com www.twitter.com/michaelrburchamEcosystem f. www.facebook.com/michael.r.burcham l. www.linkedin/in/michaelburcham
1 Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem StepLeadership:Change doesn’t happen without a champion, nor will a community reinventits economy overnight! Leadership can come from the public or privatesector – from an individual or a group – but it requires someone to:• Visualize the result• Make it real. Execute!• Begin to identify the stakeholders & resources needed to move forwardLeadership needs to be sustained and committed to the long term. Thework will extend beyond the term of an elected official, often requiringdecades to succeed.
2 Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem StepEngage Stakeholders Early in a ConversationGet together a small but powerful coalition of committed leaders. Engagethe community in Intentional Conversation about what you wish toaccomplish, the opportunity and the process to engage all the keystakeholders:• Entrepreneurs• Investors & Lenders• Universities and Educational Leaders• Community Leaders and Government Officials• Accelerators, Incubators, SBA, SCORE and Other Entrepreneurship Development Organizations• Business Community & Mentors
3 Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem StepAlign Your Community Vision for SuccessOne needs to know where one is going in order to get there! Get a clearfocus on realistic and accessible entrepreneurship for your community.• Ensure your definitions of “success” match – then set measurable goals and objectives for your market• Allocate the financial resources required. We used public & private match dollars (goal of 50% public dollars / 50% private).• Put together a dedicated team of “results oriented” individuals who embody the entrepreneurial spirit and make them accountable for results.• Focus on the critical areas for success: flow of startups, capital, mentors, and local businesses willing to be the 1st customers.
4 Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem StepSecure Community Support: $ and Time• Engage investor, business and community partner support in both dollars and time. Actions are more important than words.• Become the “face” of entrepreneurship in your community – presenting to every organized group and function with whom you can get an audience. Solicit their engagement and active support.
5 Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem StepIdentify a “Front Door” for Entrepreneurs• It’s important to identify for your community where one can find the front door for entrepreneurship.• This doesn’t necessarily mean that all the resources are under roof. It does, however, require that you have a physical or virtual location through which startups can gain access, identify community resources,and network with the individuals who can help transform their idea into a real business.
6 Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem StepConcentrate Your Efforts on the Essential Ingredients for Success• Process for Screening Ideas• Identifying High Growth Opportunities• Engagement by Seasoned / Successful Entrepreneurs• Business Modeling• Seed Capital• Training and Mentoring• Startup Tools
7 Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem StepIdentify & Support the “Gazelles”• While being as inclusive as possible, the true drivers of change in a community are the growth-oriented companies. These fast growing organizations create jobs, enrich the local economy and raise awareness of the community’s growing ecosystem. As these startups have success, they both inspire others to “dare to dream” and become drivers of change.• We allocate our resources based upon the opportunity and the strength of the concept brought by the entrepreneur. – We rank the startups we meet as “A’s, B’s, and C’s” – Focus the majority of our time on the “A’s”
8 Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem StepAddress The “Culture”Anything you can do to help accelerate specific success stories will helpstimulate your entrepreneurial ecosystem. Remember that success breedssuccess. Successful entrepreneurs are often the mentors, boardmembers, and angel investors of early startups.The ecosystem thrives in a culture that:• Encourages risk taking• Legitimizes the value of launching a business• Celebrates the startup process and the creation of a new business• Encourage diversity and differing views – entrepreneurship is inherently a contrarian activity!
8 Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem …continued StepAddress The “Culture”Regular gatherings and events that bring entrepreneurs together withother components of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem can be a powerfulway to begin to transform your community• Meet ups• Pitch Days• Forums and Educational Events• Startup Weekends
9 Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem StepConnect and Create A Funding PipelineThe access to capital will be the “make or break” issue at some point. Mostentrepreneurs bootstrap their own early capital – but often, having somesmall seed or angel capital can make the difference in getting a prototypefinished to share with early adopter customers.Things to do:• Identify sources of seed capital ($5,000 - $25,000)• Identify and get to know any area angel investors• Be sure to link your activity into the larger investment community – perhaps even outside your community or state
10 Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem StepBuild Connections Between the Large Companies & Startups• Don’t push the idea of “clusters” too hard. Every government seems to have a cluster strategy and believes it will create entrepreneurial success – that’s rarely the case.• Lasting business clusters are built around entrepreneurs. It’s the entrepreneurs who create business and industry presence in a community – simply naming a “cluster” does not breed successful entrepreneurship.• Focus your energy on linking startups in your community with the larger industries – engage them. Discuss innovation and industry transformation, technology and tools. New ideas, startups and relationships will likely emerge. This helps get the 1st customers for new businesses – Locally!