How ecosystem builders are working to promote entrepreneurship as an economic imperative.

“Communities seeking to grow their economy need to understand the impact entrepreneurship and small business play in economic growth.” — Grow Your Own: Entrepreneurship-based Economic Development for Local Communities, Dell Gines, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Ecosystem builders know that entrepreneurship and startups are critical for a healthy economy. But in too many communities entrepreneurship is an underutilized and underleveraged strategy for economic growth. Civic and business leaders in these communities are unaware of the role of entrepreneurship as a key driver of job creation, economic diversification, and improving local quality of life. …


Wellness snacks and lifestyle hacks to wrangle and tame the stress in your life.

Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

Americans are seriously stressed out. Stress is making us sick and killing us, so much so that the The World Health Organization has called it the “Health Epidemic of the 21st Century” and estimated that it costs American businesses up to $300 billion a year.

Stress is part of life — we can’t stop stressful things from happening. But, there is a distinction between the stress triggers in our lives and how we react to them. We can learn to respond to the stress of everyday life and cope better. If we want to be healthier, saner, and happier we…


How ecosystem builders stay motivated and avoid burning out.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

“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.

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…

Jeff Bennett

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

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