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

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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 can help us cultivate them in ourselves as well as help us to identify others who have them and foster strong collaborations. …


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

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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 and awareness campaigns that communicate the importance of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial ecosystem building as a means to building stronger, more resilient, and equitable economies. …


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

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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 Kong, MD the panel featured Nicoleta Bugnanu, PhD, MBA, Peter Yellowlees MBBS MD, Davis Liu, MD, Larry Ozeran, MD, and Albert Chan, MD. The panel covered an array of topics but perhaps the most relevant for startups covered how health policy, and COVID-19’s impact on it, has impacted startups’ abilities to succeed or fail. …


Storytelling is essential to building a successful startup community

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“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 a startup news organization in your community. Or it could be more simple, like writing a blog article or doing a Facebook Live video about a new startup in your town. But you have to start getting the word out!” ~ Ryan Lilly, Author of Ecosystem Hacking: How to Help Entrepreneurs & Grow Your Local Economy Faster Than…


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

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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 don’t exist. We need to fight racism, classism, sexism, xenophobia, and other societal sins. We can’t just bury them and wish them away — they don’t go away on their own. …


Building Startup Communities is the Way to Economic Growth and Recovery

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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 to as entrepreneurial ecosystem building), as the primary approach to rebuilding our cities’ economies. …


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

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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 builder is. I shared some of these in a previous article, “ Ecosystem Building and Ecosystem Builders: What is it? Who are they?” In their first Keystone Podcast episode, Yuval Yarden and Charlton Cunningham also asked the same question. …


Startup Communities: The community for entrepreneurial ecosystem builders to connect, learn, and grow.

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There’s a new community network emerging to help entrepreneurial ecosystem builders connect, learn, and grow— Startup Communities: The community for entrepreneurial ecosystem builders.

Startup Communities: The community for entrepreneurial ecosystem builders to connect, learn, and grow.

Launched by Brad Feld in conjunction with his new book The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, co-authored by Ian Hathaway, the online network has grown quickly to over 3,500 (as of today) members in the few short weeks since it launched in early July.

Powered by the Mighty Networks, the new platform is positioned as a virtual community and global network of individuals dedicated to discussing and developing communities to foster startups and features a wide array of topics related to startup communities and ecosystem building. …


The Right to Start campaign launched recently with a mission to build the American economy by putting starters first-by changing minds, policies, and communities.

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As entrepreneurial ecosystem builders, we’re united in our belief in the impact of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial ecosystem building as a strategy to build, and now rebuild, economies. It’s a common core value that distinguishes ecosystem builders.

But our conviction in the power and impact of ecosystem building is not shared by most people, especially those who are in positions of traditional power such as many civic leaders, business leaders, and traditional economic developers.

We know firsthand the struggle and frustration of explaining the importance and impact of working to support and grow entrepreneurship in a community. But our messages and attempts to change the system are often unheard or ignored. …


Find and connect with the people in your community that help entrepreneurs access the resources they need.

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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Starting a business is challenging. The list of things you need to know seems to grow on a daily basis. You probably aren’t even aware of all the things you don’t know. Barriers and hurdles appear daily at every turn.

There are many resources available to help entrepreneurs, but you probably don’t know they exist. And, knowing how to find those resources is yet another challenge. But, take heart entrepreneurs! There are people whose sole purpose is to help you. They’re called ecosystem builders.

Ecosystem Building Grows and Supports Entrepreneurship

You may not know it, but research has shown that the young companies that entrepreneurs launch are the key drivers of economic growth. As an entrepreneur, you are vital to growing a vital and dynamic local economy. Recognizing this, a growing number of people are realizing that the best way to revitalize economies is through helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses by cultivating an entrepreneurial ecosystem in which they can thrive. …

About

Jeff Bennett

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

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