Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosysytem in your City by Brad Feld

Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosysytem in your City

Much has been written about the impact of entrepreneurship on local and global economies. In fact, when many traditional and well established jobs began to disappear as a result of the recent financial crisis, start-ups were being created, growing and adding jobs at a record rate. It seemed that overnight governments, universities and investors became interested in initiatives that would foster and support an entrepreneurial culture. Start-up Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in your City is aimed at anyone interested in creating, building and sustaining a start-up community.

Written by Boulder, Colorado, entrepreneur turned venture capitalist Brad Feld, the book advances a framework for creating and building a start-up community in any city at any time, making a distinction between entrepreneurial companies and small business. While recognizing that start-up communities are comprised of a wide range of participants from entrepreneurs, to government, to investors, service providers, universities and large corporations, the author distills the roles of these organizations and institutions to two categories – leaders (the entrepreneurs) and feeders (everyone else), an important distinction in a start-up community. The book also advances the idea that multiple start-up communities can co-exist in a single municipality (Boulder in fact has five – tech, biotech, clean tech, natural foods, and lifestyles of health and sustainability).
Drawing on the success of Boulder as a start-up community, the book describes the attributes of leadership in a start-up community, gives examples of activities and events that drive entrepreneurship and contrasts the role government to that of the entrepreneurs. Framed as the “Boulder Thesis”, the principles of a vibrant start-up community are drawn from four key components:

  • Entrepreneurs must lead the start-up community.
  • The leaders must have a long term commitment.
  • The start-up community must be inclusive of everyone who wants to participate in it.
  • The start-up community must have continual activities that engage the entire entrepreneurial stack.

Start-up Communities is the first in a series of books found on the Start-up Revolution website.