Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City

Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City

by Brad Feld
Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City

Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City

by Brad Feld

Hardcover(2nd Edition)

    Qualifies for Free Shipping
    Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, October 5
    Check Availability at Nearby Stores

Related collections and offers


First published in 2012, Startup Communities became a blueprint for what it takes to build a supportive entrepreneurial community. Now regarded as a classic, the "Boulder Thesis" created and popularized by Feld within the book generated enormous media attention nearly a decade ago.

At that time, Boulder was an emerging startup laboratory—a hub of innovation building new tech businesses. It quickly accelerated into a world class ecosystem for entrepreneurs. Boulder's entrepreneurial density, combined with the geographic concentration of entrepreneurial activity around the Boulder downtown core, made it a hotbed of startup activity. Feld was and is still there, as a keen observer and one of its leaders. As he notes simply in the new edition, humans are wired to start things.

In a sense, that short Feld-ism accurately describes the startup revolution still taking hold throughout the world. Boulder is proof that innovation can happen anywhere, in any city. Thanks in part to the book, what happens in Boulder now leaves Boulder. Rapidly growing startup communities in Atlanta, Detroit, Denver, Kansas City, Nashville, and Indianapolis are just a few examples. Over the last decade, Feld has dispelled the myth that startups can only thrive in Silicon Valley.

Startup communities continue to pop up across the U.S. and around the world, prompting fresh new revelations and stories from Feld about what's happened over the last decade. Startup Communities 2e describes what makes a startup community ecosystem first click, then hum, and in time, excel. From Boulder to Beijing and beyond, entrepreneurial ecosystems are driving innovation. Startup Communities 2e discusses and the necessary dynamics and pre-conditions of building communities of entrepreneurs who can feed off each other's talent, creativity, and support.

In Startup Communities 2e, Feld will help you understand:

  • The core principles of a vibrant startup community, re-examining his Boulder Thesis and exploring other historical frameworks.
  • The attributes of leadership in a startup community that can help it thrive along with the classical problems any community will face during development.
  • The importance of a university in a startup community, and how large companies can engage effectively with entrepreneurs.
  • The importance of continuous improvement so growth does not stagnate.
  • The common myths about startup communities.
  • The opportunities to build startup communities in non-urban, or rural, places that are much less populated.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119617655
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 07/28/2020
Edition description: 2nd Edition
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,136,459
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

BRAD FELD has been an early-stage investor and entrepreneur for over 30 years. He is currently a partner at Foundry Group and is a co-founder of Techstars. In addition to his investing efforts, Brad runs the Anchor Point Foundation with his wife Amy Batchelor. Brad is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of venture capital investing and entrepreneurship.

Read an Excerpt

Click to read or download

Table of Contents

Foreword xiii

Introduction to the Second Edition xvii

Preface xxi

Chapter One Introduction 1

The Example of Boulder 2

How This Book Works 3

Chapter Two The Boulder Startup Community 5

Boulder as a Laboratory 6

Before the Internet (1970–1994) 7

Pre-Internet Bubble (1995–2000) 9

The Collapse of the Internet Bubble (2001–2002) 11

The Beginning of the Next Wave (2003–2011) 14

An Outsider’s View of Boulder in 2012 16

The Next Wave (2012–2020) 19

Chapter Three Principles of a Vibrant Startup Community 21

Historical Frameworks 21

The Boulder Thesis 25

Led by Entrepreneurs 25

Long-Term Commitment 26

Foster a Philosophy of Inclusiveness 27

Engage the Entire Entrepreneurial Stack 28

Chapter Four Participants in a Startup Community 31

Entrepreneurs 34

Government 36

Universities 38

Investors 42

Mentors 43

Service Providers 45

Large Companies 46

The Importance of Leaders, Feeders, and Instigators 47

Chapter Five Attributes of Leadership in a Startup Community 49

Be Inclusive 49

Play a Non-Zero-Sum or Positive-Sum Game 51

Be Mentorship Driven 52

Have Porous Boundaries 55

Give People Assignments 56

Experiment and Fail Fast 58

Chapter Six Classical Problems 61

The Patriarch Problem 61

Complaining About Capital 63

Being Too Reliant on Government 66

Making Short-Term Commitments 67

Having a Bias Against Newcomers 68

Attempt by a Feeder to Control the Community 69

Creating Artificial Geographic Boundaries 71

Playing a Zero-Sum Game 72

Having a Culture of Risk Aversion 73

Avoiding People Because of Past Failures 74

Chapter Seven Activities and Events 77

Young Entrepreneurs Organization 78

Office Hours 80

Boulder Denver New Tech Meetup 82

Boulder Open Coffee Club 87

Startup Weekend 90

Ignite Boulder 92

Boulder Beta 95

Boulder Startup Digest 97

CU New Venture Challenge 100

Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado 103

Chapter Eight The Power of Accelerators 107

The Spread of Techstars to Boston and Seattle 109

Techstars Expands to New York 111

Techstars Today 113

Accelerators Are Different than Incubators 114

University Accelerators 115

Chapter Nine University Involvement 119

Silicon Flatirons’ Networked Approach 120

Organizing the Components of University Entrepreneurship 124

Other Campus Initiatives That Affect Startup Communities 126

The Real Value—Fresh Blood into the System 129

Challenges and Responses for University

Entrepreneurship Programs 137

The Power of Alumni 141

Chapter Ten Contrasts between Entrepreneurs and Government 143

Self-Aware versus Not Self-Aware 144

Bottom Up versus Top Down 145

Micro versus Macro 146

Action versus Policy 147

Impact versus Control 147

Chapter Eleven How Large Corporations Can Help 149

Start by Linking to Corporate Innovation Initiatives 150

Support, Convene, Consume, and Engage 151

Self-interest is Good 153

Think About Talent Appropriately 154

Reinvestment in Your Community 155

Chapter Twelve The Power of the Community 161

Give Before You Get (#GiveFirst) 161

Everyone is a Mentor 163

Embrace Weirdness 163

Be Open to Any Idea 164

Be Honest 164

Go for a Walk 166

The Value and Cost of an After-Party 168

Chapter Thirteen Broadening a Successful Startup Community 171

Parallel Universes 171

Integration with the Rest of Colorado 173

Lack of Diversity 175

Physical Space 179

Chapter Fourteen Rural Startup Communities 181

Definition of a Rural Startup Community 182

A Broader Definition of Entrepreneurship 183

Entrepreneurs Before Capital 184

Beyond Traditional Capital Models 186

Rural + Urban, Not Rural versus Urban 188

Chapter Fifteen Myths about Startup Communities 191

We Need to Be Like Silicon Valley 192

We Need More Local Venture Capital 193

Angel Investors Must Be Organized 195

Chapter Sixteen Getting Started 199

Getting Startup Iceland Started 199

Big Omaha 203

Startup America Partnership 204

Do or Do Not, There is No Try 209

About the author 211

Acknowledgments 213

Foreword—First edition (2012) 217

Index 219

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Mr. Feld wants to make it clear that all sorts of cities across the world can become home to job-creating new businesses if only they foster the necessary culture. He sets out a framework for a successful start-up community. . . . if more people contributed to the places in which they live, as Mr. Feld and others have evidently done in Boulder, we probably would have more start-up communities around the world for him to visit."—Jonathan Moules, Financial Times book review, November 15, 2012

From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews