How to Keep a Community Open and Quality High

One of our big challenges with the Atlanta Tech Village is finding a balance between having an open and inviting community while also keeping the quality high. ATV is only as good as the people involved and the success of the member companies, both of which go hand in hand. In our mission to be the #1 tech and startup hub in the Southeast, we need to be known for great people and great companies. Of course we’re going to iron out our ATV core values and make that central to our decision making process.

So, a few questions come to mind:

  • How do we handle the inevitable bad apple that decreases the quality of the experience for everyone else? A warning followed by a pro-rata refund on their money? Who acts as the enforcer and kicks people out?
  • How do we address clashing personalities in the same coworking area?
  • What type of application process do we have for member companies to maintain high standards?
  • Should we open it up to everyone and then figure things out once people are in ATV or should we make it selective from the start?

ATV is a startup where we’re in the customer discovery mode — we’ll be refining things forever. Our community is the most important part and it’ll take continuous improvement to be the best.

What else? What are some other ideas and questions to keep a community both open and high quality?

2 thoughts on “How to Keep a Community Open and Quality High

  1. I believe it will be very similar to the founding of a company. The first 3-5 employees define the culture; with ATV, the first 3-5 companies will define what ATV is like long-term. So, nailing that is really important, as well as reaching a milestone where the culture germinated by those seed companies can withstand the, as you put it, “inevitable bad apple.” Ed Trimble created the best work environment I have ever been a part of at EzGov, and having him on the Kevy team is a great start.

    As far as after it is opened up to the wider group, maybe take a Jack Welch approach and vote off 5% of the companies every year.

  2. As long as you consider the rent / fees “subsidized” (and I agree they are), you should absolutely hand-pick new members. Like you mentioned in a prior post, perhaps try to set up a wait list and allow new companies in after an app process and when it makes sense (pending their stage of development).

    On that note, it would also be wise to determine the most appropriate biz dev stage of each new company. Will napkin stage entrepreneurs be working side by side with multi-million dollar funded ideas?

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