• DATE March 4, 2013
  • URL oneinstitute.com/tile/startup-community/

Startup Community

Entrepreneurship never happens in a vacuum – a web of people and institutions are always involved

Few understand this better than Brad Feld, cofounder of Foundry Group, a venture capital firm, and TechStars, a mentorship-driven startup accelerator. Drawing on his work with entrepreneurs in Boulder, Colorado, Feld developed a helpful framework called the Boulder Thesis, which he describes in his book, Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City.

According to the Boulder Thesis, any city can create, build, and sustain a healthy startup community if it has these four components in place:

1. Led by entrepreneurs. Though a variety of players will be involved (as they should be), entrepreneurs must lead if the startup community is to be sustainable.

2. Long-term commitment. Economies run in cycles, and the perceived need for entrepreneurship ebbs and flows, but leaders must commit to staying in place for at least 20 years if they want to see real results.

3. Inclusiveness. The more people actively engaged in the startup community, the better. After all, building a startup community is not a zero-sum game – everyone can win.

4. Engage the entire stack. Events ranging from an evening to three months provide tangible activities that spur creativity and innovation, and can adapt over time to meet the needs of everyone involved in the startup community.

Watch Feld explain the Boulder Thesis in this video