Nurturing a Startup Community

imgres-6Just finished reading Brad Feld’s “Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City.”
Instead of plunking down $26.95 to buy the book, you can watch the video Feld did for the Kauffman Foundation below and read his blog.
Feld, a venture capitalist and co-founder of TechStars, lives in Boulder, Colorado. In his 188 page book, he details how the town became a hotbed of startup activity. Nearly half of the book is written by guest posts from various members of the Boulder startup community.
The gist of book and video can be boiled down to the four points that make up what Feld calls his “Boulder Thesis.”

1. Entrepreneurs must lead the startup community.
2. The leaders must have a long-term commitment
3. The startup community must be inclusive of anyone who wants to participate in it.
4. The startup community must have continual activities that engage the entire entrepreneurial stack.

Also, the community cannot be too reliant on government, according to Feld. “Although government can play a constructive role in startup communities, a reliance on government to either lead or provide key resources for the effort of building a startup community over a long period of time is a misguided view,” according to Feld.
Feld also mentions the importance of activities and events such as Startup Weekend, Startup Week, Ignite, Open Coffee Meetups, New Tech Meetups, Office Hours and Entrepreneurs Organizations. He also details the importance of accelerators and university programs.

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