Brad Feld, co-founder of venture capital firm Foundry Group and TechStars, came out with a new book called, “Startup Communities”. I read it in one sitting.
To summarize he states that a thriving startup ecosystem has 4 key components (labeled by Feld as the Boulder thesis):
First, entrepreneurs must lead the startup community.
Second, the leaders must have a long-term view and commitment (which is more than a 10-year BHAG timeline). Think 20 years.
Third, the startup community must be inclusive of anyone who wants to participate in it.
And fourth, it must have ongoing activities that engage the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem.
A big part of what we want to see happen in and through the Creative Space is this ecosystem. Most recently we’ve started testing the waters around the start up community in Barrie. We launched an Open Coffee Club for Entrepreneurs with a new friend Scot Thom of Gobicapital, running events like IgniteBarrie, launching the Startup Genome map and, we were going to re-start Startup Drinks Barrie, but ran into a kindred Spirit the other day and she has already taken it on! Follow @startupdrinksbarrie for updates. A new contest may be launching soon for potential startups with some cool prizes to help get them off the ground. Stay tuned!
So why the new focus on startups? Along with with what typically happens in our space with the service based entrepreneurs, like community, productivity, increased revenues, networking, etc, we are seeing an opportunity to help support the startup entrepreneurs in Barrie and to attract them to Barrie. What’s the difference between the two entrepreneurs? The service based entrepreneur is focused on serving other companies with their product, message or service and can grow, but is not necessarily a high value investment, while the startup is looking to develop launch and sell their product over and over. A startup is a company is associated mostly with technological ventures designed for high-growth.
We hope to continue to serve both the SME’s and startups ongoing. If you are interested in helping out, please drop us a note. If you are looking to join the community here at TCS come on down for a tour and/or fill out our application.
For those interested in a cool event happening in April at Georgian College, check out Barrie Startup Weekend organized by a team led by Stuart Murray of Mullun Law.