How ecosystem builders stay motivated and avoid burning out.

Image for post
Image for post

Ecosystem building work is often thankless, tiring, and even demoralizing at times. How do ecosystem builders stay motivated to keep doing the work? What specific practices do ecosystem builders use for self-care, to keep going, and avoid burning out? This was the question I put to a group of participating ecosystem builders as part of the Insights from the Field campaign.

Staying Motivated by Focusing on Others

For many ecosystem builders, connecting with the entrepreneurs is the primary way they maintain motivation and keep doing the work. …


Federal efforts to transform America’s economy through innovation and entrepreneurship.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Alejandro Barba on Unsplash

The federal government plays an important part in setting policies as well as the tone that will influence innovation and entrepreneurship in the US for years to come. As the Biden administration and a new Congress begin their work, what legislation is in the works that might influence America’s lagging startup rates and help to spur innovation?

Much of what’s planned from the Biden administration initially focuses on short-term assistance to shore up small businesses. President Biden’s ‘American Rescue Plan,’ is a new $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill. The bill includes $440 billion for communities and small businesses. Part of…


Examples of what ecosystem builders are doing during Covid to keep their startup communities engaged.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Much of what we do as startup community builders requires in-person interactions through workshops, meetups, and other events. But the Covid pandemic pushed the big pause button on in-person events that are the beating heart of many startup communities.

Peter Cimino in Buffalo sent in a great question as part of the Insights from the Field campaign series of articles, asking:

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING DURING COVID TIMES TO KEEP THE COMMUNITY ENGAGED?”

The responses varied considerably. While some have scaled back significantly and are focusing their energies elsewhere, others have been very creative and resourceful, pivoting and standing up new programs to connect and engage the startup community.

Peter Cimino shared…


Facilitating connections, resilience, inclusivity, altruism, empathy — these are a few of the key values, and traits most esteemed by ecosystem builders.

Image for post
Image for post

Ecosystem building is still a very young professional field with no standard definition for what it is. But, if you talk to enough ecosystem builders you’ll get a sense of the values, traits, and skills that are critical to doing the work successfully. Really impactful ecosystem builders have a different approach, a mindset that sets them apart. These traits enable them to make a positive social impact.

I’ve seen many surveys and polls over the years that try to identify the key skills, traits, and values of an ecosystem builder. For a discipline focused on positive social impact, identifying these…


These startup communities have created engaging campaigns that celebrate their entrepreneurs and startup community.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Sam McGhee on Unsplash

Society doesn’t understand the value of entrepreneurship. Research shows that entrepreneurs and young companies are the key drivers of economic growth. But most people are unaware of this and the enormous potential of entrepreneurship in their communities and society in general.

If we want stronger, more resilient, and equitable economies the general public needs to understand the importance of entrepreneurship to healthy economies and communities. They need to understand why entrepreneurship is critical for economically thriving communities.

To increase public understanding of the role of entrepreneurship we need to educate our communities about its power and impact. We need educational…


Covid-19 has accelerated digital health transformation and impacted policy in addition to everything else.

Image for post
Image for post

Many startups in the digital health and med tech space may be unaware how crucial it is to understand healthcare policy and how it affects their business model. Understanding the impacts of policy has become even more critical during the Covid-19 era as government institutions have changed policies in direct response to the need for social distancing and operating in virtual environments.

My Sacramento-based non-profit organization, StartupSac, convened a panel of doctors and digital health experts in October to explore the rise of digital care due to COVID-19 and how it has changed how healthcare is delivered.

Moderated by Francis…


Storytelling is essential to building a successful startup community

Image for post
Image for post

“Every community has its secret entrepreneurial success stories. Ecosystem builders must recruit those individuals and elevate them as examples for others by highlighting their stories to others.” — Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building Playbook

Creating and sharing stories about your entrepreneurs and your startup community has several benefits. It raises awareness of the entrepreneurs and their businesses thereby helping them find customers and earn revenue. It helps establish credibility of your community as a cohesive ecosystem. It helps shape the narrative around entrepreneurship and economic development.

“We have to get better at telling our own stories. Maybe that means starting…


In repairing our broken society, we need to see the scars.

Image for post
Image for post
Kintsugi

America is divided. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, you can’t deny that American society is fractured, broken into pieces.

Like many, I feel that as a nation, we need to unite. We need to heal. We need to pick up the shards of our broken society, and put them back together.

Some say that in the healing process we should bury the ugliness, hide the hatred and fear, that we should seal it underground. I can’t help but think that this would be a mistake.

We shouldn’t try to cover up the imperfections, to pretend they…


Building Startup Communities is the Way to Economic Growth and Recovery

Image for post
Image for post
Grow your startup community to build a stronger economy

Economies are hurting. Even prior to COVID-19, healthy economies were limited to a few metro areas. The pandemic has accelerated and exacerbated the situation. All across the country, communities need to jump start and rebuild their economies. How?

Research has shown that most new jobs come from young businesses. And yet, our economic policies espoused by governments and traditional economic development approaches continue to focus on attracting big businesses. This focus needs to stop. It’s time for a radical rethink in how we do economic development.

We need to shift our economic development strategies to startup community building, (also referred…


Dozens of entrepreneurial ecosystem builders share their thoughts on what an ecosystem builder is and does.

Image for post
Image for post

One of the challenges in turning ecosystem building into a recognized profession is the lack of a recognized definition for what it is and what an ecosystem builder is. The Kauffman Foundation’s ESHIP Goal 3 recognizes this as an ongoing challenge, stating, “Strong collaboration will require alignment on our desired outcomes for ecosystem building and a common terminology for this work. We must build consensus on these cornerstones of our profession to facilitate communication and collaboration within the field and make ecosystem building practices more accessible to the broader community.”

There are so many ideas as to what an ecosystem…

Jeff Bennett

Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Builder | Editorial Director at Ecosystem Builder Hub | Cofounder & President of StartupSac | Writer & Digital Media Content Creator

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store