“Startup communities” are popping up everywhere, from cities all over the United States like Boulder, Boston, New York, Seattle, and Omaha to countries like Iceland. These entrepreneurial ecosystems are driving innovation, new business creation, and job growth. Startup Communities documents the strategy, dynamics, tactics, and long-term perspective required for building communities of entrepreneurs who can feed off of each other’s talent, creativity, and support. So if you think Silicon Valley is the only place to start your next venture, think again. These days, great business ideas can come from anywhere, and this audiobook is the smart wake-up call you’ve been waiting for.
Based on more than twenty years of Boulder-based entrepreneur-turned-venture-capitalist Brad Feld’s experience, as well as contributions from entrepreneurs in Boulder and other innovative startup communities — this reliable resource skillfully explores what it takes to create a startup community in any city, at any time. With this audiobook as your guide, you’ll gain valuable insights into building a more vibrant startup community, as you discover how to increase the breadth and depth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem by multiplying connections among entrepreneurs and mentors, improving access to entrepreneurial education, creating events and activities that activate all the participants in the startup community, and much more.
Along the way, Feld details the critical principles for forming a sustainable startup community, and discusses the various tactics you need to put around them. You’ll become familiar with the idea that in order for a community to grow both deep and wide — and to enhance its entrepreneurial density — entrepreneurs must lead the charge themselves. You’ll also see how developing a long-term commitment to the startup community is the only way to realistically become a leader of it.
Feld continues the conversation by discussing how an openness to include anyone who is interested in joining the startup community — from students, researchers, and professors to corporate employees, lawyers, government, and investors — is critical. He also reveals how there has to be activities and events in the startup community that engage everyone in it from top to bottom. So, whether it be accelerators, meetups, or startup weekends, you have to create things that involve everyone.
You can have a sustainable startup community in virtually any city in the world. But you need to know what it takes to really make this happen — understanding everything from the problems that may arise to the power of the community. Engaging and informative, this practical guide not only shows you how startup communities work, it also shows you how you can make them work anywhere.
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About the Author
Brad Feld has been an early-stage investor and entrepreneur for over twenty years. Prior to cofounding Foundry Group — a Boulder, Colorado–based early-stage venture capital fund that invests in information technology companies all over the United States — he cofounded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures, a company that helped launch and operate software companies. Feld is also a cofounder of TechStars and has been active with several nonprofit organizations. He is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of venture capital investing and entrepreneurship.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER ONE Introduction 1
CHAPTER TWO The Boulder Startup Community 5
CHAPTER THREE Principles of a Vibrant Startup Community 21
CHAPTER FOUR Participants in a Startup Community 31
CHAPTER FIVE Attributes of Leadership in a Startup Community 47
CHAPTER SIX Classical Problems 59
CHAPTER SEVEN Activities and Events 73
CHAPTER EIGHT The Power of Accelerators 109
CHAPTER NINE University Involvement 121
CHAPTER TEN Contrasts between Entrepreneurs and Government 141
CHAPTER ELEVEN The Power of the Community 147
CHAPTER TWELVE Broadening a Successful Startup Community 157
CHAPTER THIRTEEN Myths about Startup Communities 169
CHAPTER FOURTEEN Getting Started 179
ABOUT THE AUTHOR 189
EXCERPT FROM STARTUP LIFE 199
What People are Saying About This
"Mr. Feld wants to make it clear that all sorts of cities across the world can become home to job-creating new businesses if only they foster the necessary culture. He sets out a framework for a successful start-up community. . . . if more people contributed to the places in which they live, as Mr. Feld and others have evidently done in Boulder, we probably would have more start-up communities around the world for him to visit."—Jonathan Moules, Financial Times book review, November 15, 2012