2min read Startup ecosystems are growing in popularity and for good reason. If you are in the entrepreneurial space, you have likely heard of this term. You may find yourself wondering what a startup ecosystem is and if you should be involved with one. In this article, we share everything you need to know to make that decision.
What Is a Startup Ecosystem?
A startup ecosystem is a network of startups, investors, and others who come together to foster startup formation and growth. The network fosters innovation through shared resources such as capital, talent, and mentorship.
At the core of the network are startups led by founders who launch high-growth businesses. Accelerators and incubators provide education around the initial launch of the business. Investors, including angels, venture capitalists, online crowdfunding sites, and grant providers, provide capital. Universities provide the talent for launching and supporting startups. Freelancers provide additional talent in the form of labor. Providers offer support for legal, financial, marketing, and other services. And lastly, mentors provide coaching and guidance on how to grow the business.
Events, newsletters, and blogs foster the community through communication. Local corporations may also participate through sponsorship and other support. Look for these elements in building your startup ecosystem.
Components of a Startup Ecosystem
A startup ecosystem is fueled by talent, funding, and customers. In building your startup community, tap successful serial entrepreneurs to lead. Use their star power to capture attention and draw investors and startups to your area.
Focus your efforts on the strengths of the local community and build startups in those domains. Develop clusters of startup activity to create density. It’s the interactions between the startups, investors, and providers that count.
Foster collaboration with other startup ecosystems to share resources. Generate publicity for your ecosystem through events and articles. Metric your results by capturing the number of startups formed, funded, and exited. Building a robust startup ecosystem can take up to a decade, but the results will last many more years.
Organizations of a Startup Ecosystem
There are several types of organizations that may be involved in a startup ecosystem. These may include:
Here’s a list of organizations to look for:
- universities that provide the founder talent
- angel groups and other investor networks for funding the startups
- venture capital funds providing funding
- incubators and accelerators for coaching the startups
- service organizations to provide legal, accounting, and financial services
- coworking spaces to provide spaces for startups
- government groups providing funding such as grants and loans
- startup and business plan competitions providing funding for startups
- event programs that bring the community together
- news and media companies covering the startup community
Startup ecosystems should seek to recruit or build several of these organizations.
Read more on the TEN Capital eGuide: Building Your Startup Ecosystem
Hall T. Martin is the founder and CEO of the TEN Capital Network. TEN Capital has been connecting startups with investors for over ten years. You can connect with Hall about fundraising, business growth, and emerging technologies via LinkedIn or email: firstname.lastname@example.org