Startup Community Alchemy: A Model for Building An Entrepreneurial Ecosytem


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This model is a work-in-progress being developed to help formulate a model to implement real world strategies towards growing an entrepreneurial ecosystem/community in a place not necessarily known for such things.

It is based on research and real world success in New Orleans, Omaha, Kansas City, Boulder, Nashville and Des Moines and is currently being lab tested in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City region of Iowa. It is meant to be a broad based model that can be used to implement location-specific solutions that takes into account local resources and conditions in the particular city.

Feedback, constructive criticism and comments are welcome and encouraged.

We are available to present, share or discuss this at your event, organization, conference or individually.

Please feel free to contact us.

Andy Stoll
Co-Founder, Seed Here Studio

You can find more information on this topic at and by reading Brad Feld's book Startup Communities.

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Startup Community Alchemy: A Model for Building An Entrepreneurial Ecosytem

  1. 1. creating a grassroots community & culture of entrepreneurship + creativity + innovation startup community alchemy laying a brick-by-brick foundation to connect and grow a successful high-growth entrepreneurial ecosystem Throughout the process we must TELL A STORY & CREATE CONVERSATIONS that share a “positive vision focusing on the opportunities of the future,” not rehashing the problems and limitation of the past. Connect Resources (Focus on building the social fabric) youmg profs (Entities should focus on THREE strategies to build the social fabric) Mary ENTREP economic devlpmnt CVB social venue Joe ENTREP workforce dvlpmnt ENTREP ENTREP ENTREP highlight & celebrate current and emerging entrepreneurs (help people identify as entrepreneurs & realize they are not alone) ENTREP creatives ENTREP attorney ENTREP startup established company (entities & their circle of influence) City of incubator/ tech transfer arts promote media orange = social fabric 1 The movement must be centered around and led by entrepreneurs, so first, gather the entrepreneurs & begin to connect them amongst themselves. 2 opportunities to try incentivize leaping mentoring & coaching incubators/accelerators access to people & $$$ people with businesses 5 The social fabric must grow organically. it can not be made by‘decree’ The effort does NOT create a new entity (no new circles), so everyone gets to keep their identity & circles of influence. A thriving “community” is built over a long period of time by small FORMAL & INFORMAL groups of excited people, organized around local ideas & issues (meetups, angel funds, coworking spaces, accelerators, startups), that also build the social fabric around and amongst the entrepreneurs and the people that support them. Brad Feld’s Principles of a Vibrant Startup Community 1) Led by entrepreneurs 2) Has a long term commitment (20 years from today) 3) Fosters a philosophy of inclusiveness 4) Engages the entire entrepreneurial stack SOURCE: Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City by Brad Feld (Wiley) (Entrepreneurial Infrastructure) (talent) higher education K-12 schools conferences skills training internships mentoring build better teams $ (support services) highlight existing events & experiment with new creative opportunities that mix people (both offline & online) in an attempt to“engineer” serendipitous connections between ideas, people and resources Encourage entities to contribute resources to the movement, by building & tightening the social fabric around the entrepreneurs & amongst exisiting entities. (Social fabric, by its nature, CAN be open, non-exclusive, organic & limitless.) 3 4 Build create processes to attract, retain & develop... inspiration grow positive public opinion, desire & understanding of a high-growth entrepreneurial & creative community participate & connect $$$ Want-repreneurs to Entrepreneurs { { schools Funnel bunch of people with ideas and resources identify { entrep center artist regional entrep ecosystem national/world entrep ecosystem Mix V17 Cultivate a Culture of - Collaboration - Introduction - Invitation - Risk-Taking - Mentoring professional services creative services healthy legal systems angel & venture capital innovations centers technology resources coworking spaces incubators/accelerators (ideas) information sharing pitch sessions mentoring incubators/accelerators opportunity for spin-offs research parks tech transfer (quality of life) authentic culture public transportation arts & culture distinct neighborhoods vibrant social scene green public spaces easy commutes good schools low cost of living This model builds upon the work and input of Robert Putnam, Richard Florida, Peter Block, Sarah Lacy, Steven Johnson, Jeff Slobotski, Dusty Davidson, Steve Blank, Silicon Prairie News, Robbie Vitrano, Tim Williamson, Chris Schultz, Idea Village NOLA, Tom Chapman, Nick Seguin, The Radlhauptstadt München Campaign, Brad Feld, Scott Case, Michael Burcham, the James Gang and many others... PRODUCED BY Created by Seed Here Studio, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Iowa This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Send feedback and thoughts to