Recently I was meeting with a friend talking about our respective startup communities. We covered many of the usual topics and then got to one I hadn’t explicitly discussed before: a checklist of common startup community ingredients. Meaning, when you look at a city, what programs, events, facilities, etc. do you expect to find?
Here’s the start of a checklist of startup community ingredients:
- Critical mass of entrepreneurs – Entrepreneurs need to be out en masse building companies
- Entrepreneur-lead initiatives – Entrepreneurs need to lead the community (see the Boulder Thesis)
- Engineering schools – Both traditional technical universities and more modern code schools are necessary for a steady supply of technical talent
- Meetup groups – Regular gatherings for sales, marketing, engineering, entrepreneurs, etc.
- Co-working spaces – Shared desks and conference rooms
- Furnished office spaces – Private rooms and suites fully furnished for startups
- Event centers – Large conference centers that are great for all types of events
- Accelerator programs – Cohorts of seed-stage startups that come together for heavy mentoring and a demo day
- Mentors – People in the community that actively help and coach the next generation of leaders
- Angel funds – Loosely connected groups of angel investors that meet on regular basis and look at deals
Of course, all of this is predicated on having hungry, ambitious entrepreneurs that build successful companies. The strongest startup communities have the most density, experience-sharing, and recycling of talent and capital.
What else? What are some more items you’d add to a checklist of startup community ingredients?