We’re beginning to see an interesting phenomenon occur with the success of Startup Communities. Readers are extrapolating the lessons within the book and are raising some interesting questions about the drivers, best practices and key components of startup communities. Recently, Dan Moore, a local Boulder IT consultant, wrote a blog post questioning the lasting impact the personnel of a former employer had on the local startup community. His blog post raises an interesting question.
How many startups have been birthed as a result of personnel from a former startup?
In his own case, Mr. Moore was an employee of XOR, (Internet technology, Systems, IT) and according to his experience some 23 companies were formed as an off fall of its sale, one of which includes the company he currently works for. This information has spurred the team here at Startup Revolution to wonder if we could put together a data set that would depict the general impact startups have on their communities.
So we decided to begin the process of sourcing information regarding such matters and are now putting together a data set on the long term residual effects of startups; no matter their outcome. Whether they failed or succeeded we want to know the impact startups have.
So we’ve got a favor to ask…we need you to fill out the form below providing us with important information on the number of companies that were spun off as a result of either the sale or closing up of a former employer.
Simply fill out and submit the form below and we’ll start building the data set.
Thanks for all the help!
-The Startup Revolution Team
Startup Genealogy Submission
Thanks to the crew at RokkMiami for creating this AMAZING graphic on the Boulder Startup Timeline.
Four years ago I emailed Brad Feld after hearing him on This Week In Startups. To my surprise I got a call from him no more than 10 minutes later. I asked him how to build up the Phoenix startup community.
His advice then:
1. Start hosting meetups and groups… and keep doing them even if only two people show up.
2. Start showing progress. People pay attention to growth.
Four years later… after reading Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City…
…We launched Assemble Arizona this morning! It’s a group of my friends who came together with the purpose of uniting Arizona’s Creatives. We use “creatives” instead of startups for a specific reason. We want people who are entrepreneurial, who may not know it yet, to have an opportunity to be involved.
I’ve read all of Brad’s books, and he espoused the pillars of a startup community: Entrepreneurs, Government, Investors, Mentors, Universities. We modeled Assemble Arizona after the Boulder Thesis.
…But I added another element. I liked the idea of entrepreneurial led ecosystems, because we are the ones fighting in the trenches. But my experience in Phoenix showed me that we typically fought battles alone. We were trying to build our own startups alone; in silos. Why couldn’t we collaborate and help one another?
I grabbed a group of my friends and presented the idea of helping one another. I started small with asking for amplification. I literally asked 3 of my friends if they would start “liking” Facebook posts and Favoriting & Retweeting my messages on Twitter. And I would do the same for them. This collaboration took 30 seconds of time, but has proved beneficial for all of us. We made a commitment to one another that anything that needed amplification (events, meetups, launches, promotions), we would work together to amplify. Even if it seemed to have no benefit to our own interest. We were friends helping friends.
This mentality grew as everyone involved received beneficial results. We started getting more conversations on threads and our Twitter followers increased. We added more people to the coalition. We started growing a community of entrepreneurs supporting one another. That community became a weekly meeting to share experiences and problems. Those meetings turned formal and into Assemble Arizona.
We want to share what we have experienced with others.
If the pie keeps expanding, we all win. The market is big enough for all of us to win. We don’t need to compete as startups. ALL startups should be uniting to compete against incumbents. The Googles, Apples, IBM’s, GM’s, and the old businesses that are desperately trying to hold their position. They are competing against us as startups, so why don’t we unite to compete against them?
David vs. Goliath… but what if there are 20 Davids fighting against one Goliath. I’ll take 20 Davids any day!
So put us on our radar. Get involved with us. We want to hear what you’re doing and what works and doesn’t work for your community. We are inclusive to everyone.
We do physical and virtual meetings every Sunday at 3pm (Arizona Time).
We’re looking forward to showing you what Arizona is up to!
Handprint is working on some amazing 3D printing and editing technology. We had plenty of applications for the competition – many of them very interesting – but Handprint really captured our imagination.
As winners of the competition, they’ll get to live in the house rent free for a year. I’ll pay for Google Fiber and the house; they cover their own expenses. There are no strings attached – I don’t get any equity and there are no downstream obligations for them.
Google Fiber was installed last week so when they move in they’ll immediately have access to 1 gigibit Internet.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m doing this as an experiment around Startup Communities. I’m fascinated about what is going on in Kansas City around Google Fiber and rather than observe, I decided to participate.
Thanks to Ben Barreth for inspiring this project with his Homes for Hackers discussion with me when we met atThinc Iowa. And thanks for Lesa Mitchell at Kauffman Foundation for all of her support. Both Ben and Lesa have done all the hard work on this project – I’m deeply appreciative of their help. Also, thanks to Scott Case of Startup America for helping judge the competition.
A huge congrats to the Handprint team which consists of Mike Demarais, Alexa Nguyen, Jack Franzen, and Derek Caneja. I look forward to getting to know you better over the next year. Welcome to the Fiberhood!
What is Cross Campus you ask?
Well, “Cross Campus is an engine of creativity and innovation, housed at our state of the art 11,000 square foot space at 820 Broadway in the heart of Santa Monica. Our goal is to inspire creative collisions through space design, learning platforms, and extraordinary events, fostering member-driven collaboration that ultimately leads to game changing ideas and enterprises.
As a member of Cross Campus, you are part of a select community of doers. You enjoy a work-space that is designed to inspire and built to support the needs of entrepreneurs who aim high. Our classes & events give you the opportunity to participate in a dynamic learning experience that goes far beyond the norm.”
Pretty much sums it up.
The Computer Science Undergraduate Advisory Committee (CSUAC) is organizing the second round of the 3rd annual Mobile Apps Challenge here in Boulder. The second round of the challenge will take place tomorrow Friday, April 12th at 5PM at Hub Boulder. The competition will include student teams from across Colorado including CU-Boulder, Colorado State University, University of Colorado at Denver, and Colorado School of Mines.
List of Applications:
Musikfly: a platform for musical influencers to manage all their music submissions in one smart, simple feed.
PicPoc: a photo manager/viewer that runs on iOS. Its interface allows you to horizontally scroll through albums of photos, and PicPoc can view photos from your phone’s photo library or you can save photos to PicPoc to keep them secure. PicPoc’s best feature is the ability to lock/unlock your viewing to a single photo, or album of photos.
MGate: an app that allows users to simulate basic logic gate connections and outputs. Users can organize and/nand/nor/not or xor gates together to simulate basic digital logic. This would be a useful tool for teaching and learning about logic gates.
JamWalkr: a social music-listening and sharing app, designed to let users decide not only what kind of music they love, but WHERE it is loved
LightStop: an app that simply does one task really well: Displays current scheduling information for the light rail
Orpheus: is a digital DJ/Jukebox streaming music service for restaurants, bars, coffeeshops, and house parties. It uses social media and machine learning to play music that is revelant to guest and patrons.
What: 3rd Annual Mobile App Challenge: The community event
When: Friday, April 12th at 5PM
Where: The HUB Boulder
Format: Teams will be provided a time slot to present a quick demo of their application to community members and the judges. Following the pitches, community members and judges will vote for the best teams. Scores will be combined to determine the final results.
The total cash prize is $2,000!
Free Food will be served.
Get your ticket for FREE at: http://csuac-mac.eventbrite.
For more information, please visit: http://csuac.com/tagged/app
The event is fully sponsored by SAP!!!
Last week Brad spoke to a group of entrepreneurs from the California Lutheran University about Startup Communities. Stephanie Crowley is a graphic recorder who attended the event and proceeded to draw this…AWESOME!
How Should We Measure Success In Our Startup Community?
I’ve learned a lot in my 3 short years of organizing Triangle Startup Weekend (TSW). For one, you can get a lot done in 54 hours if you just focus on doing things rather than talking about what you plan to do. All of the Triangle Startup Weekends we’ve organized have been successes, each building on the previous and becoming a more efficient and impactful event for the startup community.
This past weekend, we hosted TSW EDU, North Carolina’s first Startup Weekend focused on spurring innovation and reform in the education space. Based on feedback from attendees, coaches, judges, sponsors, other organizers, and community members that followed along on Twitter, the event was a success. But how do we define success? Better yet, how should we define success?
How do we define success?
The first question I get after TSW usually relates to how many companies were formed or how many of the companies survived and are still operational businesses. How many got funding? How many are still around?
That’s understandable – it’s very human to think of the companies themselves as a measure for how successful TSW is at impacting our startup community. Don’t get me wrong, they’re definitely part of the equation. And there’s nothing worth hiding – both of the winners of TSW since 2011 are still around, operational, and joined by other companies that launched during TSW.
How should we define success?
I can tell you that after years of organizing TSW, the companies themselves are far from the most important measure of the event’s success. Just as website visits aren’t the best measure of success for a startup, the companies that form at TSW don’t tell the entire story worth telling.
When we tell people about what role TSW plays in the startup community, we start with the fact that it is one of the few events that engages the entire entrepreneurial stack. Brad Feld explains the importance of this engagement in Startup Communities and if he were to touch on the metrics that matter to a startup community in Startup Metrics, he would probably focus on more than just the companies that form out of Startup Weekends.
It’s common for attendees to meet future co-founders and find jobs. In fact, last year, one of our participants drove from Arkansas because his fiancée was starting graduate school in the Triangle and he needed a job. He walked away from the weekend with strong leads and found a job shortly thereafter.
One of TSW’s past mentors and judges, Richard White, CEO of UserVoice, came to TSW two years ago and points to the energy and engineering talent he saw as the sole reason he decided to open an engineering office in downtown Raleigh.
It’s those types of things that we should be talking about when we talk about startup events.
Just as we have done (or should do) in our businesses, we should rethink how we measure success in our startup community and ask ourselves whether we’re using metrics that matter or merely vanity metrics.
Broadly, TSW EDU introduced entrepreneurship to educators, and education to entrepreneurs. It’s very likely the EdTech community in the Triangle will point back to TSW EDU as a tipping point. It’s too soon to measure all of the things that will come from TSW EDU, but I can tell you the companies that form from the weekend are just the tip of the iceberg. And they’re impressive enough in their own right.
Not long ago the guys from Awesome Inc arranged for startup guru Brad Feld to speak at the Kentucky Center about the Boulder, Colo., startup phenomenon. Somehow Boulder has attained the mythical entrepreneurial status we also attribute to Austin, the San Francisco Bay Area and Research Triangle.
Now back in the post-Nam days, when I was a longer-haired undergrad at CU-Boulder, the only local entrepreneurs I can recall utilized baggies to distribute their product. Gnarly for sure, but definitely not a global hot spot.
So, I wondered, what changed since the late ’70s, besides the merciful death of disco? How had the most liberal college town in America transformed itself into one of the preeminent entrepreneurial communities in the world and a birthplace of TechStars?
Maybe Feld’s speech would provide some answers, so I bought a ticket (and later, his book).
From Boulder to Louisville
In Feld’s TED-style talk, he used a flip chart to quickly lay out what he calls the “Boulder Thesis” (which he stretches to 200 pages in his book, Startup Communities). In short, Feld’s Boulder Thesis states that a vibrant entrepreneurial community must:
- Be led by entrepreneurs who
- Have a long-term commitment, and
- Be inclusive of anyone who wants to participate in it, and
- Continually engage the entire entrepreneurial stack.
Understand that Boulder, which is fondly referred to as “eight square miles surrounded by reality,” sports five major research labs and the most degreed population in the United States. So it’s a pseudo-Oz, and whatever they do or (now legally) smoke out there might not translate to Kentucky.
I’m here to proclaim that the soul of the Boulder Thesis is, indeed, beginning to trend right here in the Bluegrass. Granted, we don’t yet match their 2013 Rockin’ Mountain High community, but (cue Journey) we are at least in the ’80s, or maybe even (fade to Pearl Jam) the ’90s in Boulder time, edging ever closer to the so-2009 Black Eyed Peas’ “I Got A Feeling.” (Way to remix those metaphors.)
My point is that this region is slowly but surely crafting its own energetic entrepreneurial community under flag bearers such as Phoebe Wood, Doug Cobb, Bob Saunders, Kimberly Nasief-Westergren, David Jones, Charlie Moyer, Tendai Charasika, Mark Crane, Greg Fischer, Adam Fish, Alex Frommeyer, Kris Kimel, Brian Raney, Suzanne Bergmeister and many others.
This isn’t a planned and managed affair; it’s organic and authentic. It’s like cat herding. It’s highly inclusive and spans the “stack” from investors to entrepreneurs to supporters. It includes long-standing groups such as Venture Connectors, KSTC, Nucleus and Enterprise Corp.; alongside rogues like Forge and Startup Weekend.
With the Gil Holland-led re-entrepreneurization of NuLu, the community even has a homeland.
From Louisville to the Commonwealth
To paraphrase Brad Feld, we are witnessing the birth of not just the Louisville Thesis, but the Kentucky Thesis, which I might point out is miraculously overcoming basketball rivalries and connecting with like-minded clusters of entrepreneurial diasporas from Paducah to Lexington to Covington.
A good thing? I damn well think so, and cheer on all comers who are willing to pitch in, whether by starting a company, investing, working, sponsoring or just showing up. We don’t have to become Boulder.Who needs weed dispensaries and 300 days of sunshine anyway? We just need to be ourselves and stick with it.
We have strengths in logistics, healthcare, food and manufacturing combined with that bull-headed Kentucky long-rifle sense of independence – hey, not every region is so blessed. We have plenty of bright people and ideas. And nobody sees us coming.
Granted, it was probably a hair easier to grow a vibrant entrepreneurial community in progressive, highly educated, uber-cool Boulder. But when we do it here, Mr. Feld will have an even better book to write.
Or maybe we’ll just write it ourselves.
Last October I decided to offer and take part in my first Cojourneo workshop for Startup Communities. The workshop went extremely well and due to its success we’ve decided to offer it again starting March 25th.
By participating in this workshop, you’ll receive exclusive videos I created that expand on the content in the book. You’ll also be able to interact with me directly via “Post Workshop” and “Ask the Guide.” Even more importantly, you’ll actually begin the process of building startup communities by connecting and collaborating with fellow entrepreneurs near you and taking steps together towards making this book a reality in your city.
I will do my best to guide you with my own experience and use real-life examples to show that any entrepreneur can and should create in their city an “entrepreneurial ecosystem” that will generate energy, activity, and innovation. The future economic progress of cities, regions, countries, and society at large depends on it!
Dates & Timing: You can watch workshop videos and participate online at any time that fits your schedule. I will have a “Post Workshop” live class debrief session April 22nd, 1:00-2:00pm MST. Virtual Meetings will be coordinated by Cojourneo staff and held in the evening to accommodate work schedules.
Creating Your Own Circle: If you’d like to create your own private small group for this workshop with your colleagues or friends, please email the team at email@example.com and they’ll be happy to help you coordinate.
Who should take this workshop? Entrepreneurs, startup employees, investors and government and university officials who are interested in entrepreneurs and startups.
What is the recommended time commitment for this workshop? 15-20 minutes per session to watch video content
Optional: To get the most out of your workshop experience, we recommend you allocate additional time (1 hour) per session for collaboration and Virtual Meetings.