How to build a startup ecosystem? It is no easy task, but if done successfully it can be of huge benefit to an economy at the local and national level for years to come. There is a good reason why local governments around the world have been increasing efforts to boost their local startup ecosystem, in order to make it an integral part of their wider economic development plans. At StartupBlink, we attempt to understand the impact of these ecosystems and global trends through our global map of startup ecosystems, detailing some of the best startup hubs in the world.
There are many components to building a thriving startup ecosystem, which include a combination of; entrepreneurs, accelerators, mentors, investors, government, educational institutions, corporations, and service providers.
To keep all of these components working in synergy, and to keep the ecosystem flourishing, the developers of the ecosystem have to apply strategies. Here are 5 strategies to help boost your startup ecosystem:
1. Evaluate the data of your ecosystem:
To build your ecosystem, you first have to understand where your ecosystem currently stands. Go to local events – You can find these on Meetup etc, open pitch nights (if they exist), speak to entrepreneurs and try to find out the challenges and difficulties they face.
You can also to see how your ecosystem ranks globally by downloading the Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report 2020. This report ranks 1,000 cities and 100 countries around the world, with insights on each ecosystem .
2. Provide better ease of doing business:
National and local governments would be wise to create better policies that are more startup friendly. This includes lowering taxes for startups, incentives, easing the registration process and creating startup visas to international entrepreneurs.
Local governments tend to be very careful with any move they make, and it makes sense for the most part. Their entire ecosystem is at stake. But inaction and over-bureaucracy are silent killers of ecosystems.
3. Ensure the ecosystem has hubs for networking:
For a startup ecosystem to thrive there has to be startup hubs, even at a micro level. This includes coworking chains, accelerators, and business conferences. This allows the community of startups to work together and flourish. While the ‘new normal’ due to the Coronavirus has been hindering this, startup resilience allows this to continue virtually.
Connecting with the community is something a startup can greatly leverage on. Not only to sell the startup’s respective product or service, but to find other resources to help the startup grow. This includes mentors, investors, partnership, or even just learning from other startup founders. An abundance of opportunity.
StartupBlink has an active startup community of around 35,000 members globally, and we help to keep them engaged by organizing weekly pitching events, monthly webinars, and curated startup events. If you wish to join your local city Meetup group, check our page here.
4. Boost the investment ecosystem:
For early-stage startup ecosystems, funding is very important to keep the ecosystem alive and running. If there is no abundance of investors at the early age of the ecosystem, the government has to take its place until they arrive. Especially for times of crisis, when running a startup is harder than it has ever been amid the virus, startup ecosystem developers have to support startup founders. To those startup founders having a difficult time here, you may find a grant suitable to you on this report.
5. Promote your ecosystem:
It is important to try your best to let the world know what makes your startup ecosystem special. This includes the talent or human resources your ecosystem has,what they are good at and what special projects they have done. Or it could include the universities in your city, what they specialize in – whether business, R&D or any other vertical Lastly, let the world know of the ecosystem’s accomplishments, which may include startups in your city winning startup competitions or hackathons, or gaining impressive funding rounds.
Boosting a startup ecosystem is good news for both the private and public sectors. The best startups in an ecosystem, which grow into unicorns most likely come from a global startup hub, like Reddit from San Francisco, USA, or Glovo from Barcelona, Spain. This helps the public sector in economic growth due to job generation and taxes and it helps the private sector by attracting more investors, high-quality talent and clients, a good knowledge base, and developing a good entrepreneurial culture.
Lead it or leave it
In conclusion, lead it or leave it. If you are in a relatively bad ecosystem and choose to stay, it makes sense to help develop it. Branding yourself as the leader of the ecosystem increases the visibility of your project.
To learn more about how private sector companies can help the startup ecosystem grow, please check out StartupBlink’s Ecosystem Partnership.