Startup ecosystem promotion is key to startup ecosystem development. Although often seen as abstracts, startup ecosystems are real products that, like any other project, need marketing to exist and flourish. Successful ecosystems offer their players tangible and intangible advantages that are equally beneficial to everyone. Therefore, it is critical to promote your startup ecosystem and make sure to create a positive perception of what such an environment can offer to talented people encouraging them to stay and create in the city.
Given that private companies are more focused on internal investment, it is up to public sector institutions to step in. Municipalities or economic development corporations do important work on spreading the news about their local ecosystem. Nevertheless, we understand that startup ecosystem promotion can be complicated. The lessons we share are all from years of experience working with dozens of public sector organizations via Startup Ecosystem Partnership program focusing on the promotion and mapping of ecosystems.
The promotion of the local startup ecosystem brings numerous benefits. That includes a growing talent pool and the emergence of corporations that will consequently result in increased investments. In this article, we will further discuss these benefits.
A strong and constantly growing talent pool
One of the key elements of a thriving startup ecosystem is a talent pool. The biggest challenge is not only to keep it stable but to maintain its growth as well. Nowadays, when founders have the possibility to start their companies almost anywhere in the world, it is becoming more difficult to keep them at home. Thus, leading to brain drain for the country, just like it happened in Lithuania and Croatia.
After joining the EU, numerous people have left their home countries to tap into new opportunities abroad as their startup ecosystems were underperforming and did not manage to create a positive perception among its players. Despite that, the recent growth for the startup ecosystems of Lithuania and Croatia seems promising and could possibly lead to an increasing number of expats coming back to their countries. Such statistics come from the Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report 2019 by StartupBlink that positioned Lithuania in the 18th spot worldwide, while Croatia’s rankings have not changed and it ranks at number 50.
By marketing your startup ecosystem, you create two positive effects: first, the founders stay in your location and second, foreign ones arrive to establish their projects. A well-promoted startup ecosystem leaves no doubts about the opportunities that the founders can benefit from. Hence, the way its players perceive the local ecosystem predestines them to stay and create regionally without thinking of relocation. Also, dedicating time for promotion pays back in a growing number of foreign founders arriving at your location. In the end, everyone wants to be part of a successful ecosystem. In the startup ecosystem, perception can also create a reality. If your startup ecosystem is globally perceived as a strong one, it will become strong as well.
Corporations are attracted to powerful talent pools
Marketing your startup ecosystem not only encourages startup founders to create inside the community but attracts global companies too. Corporations arrive to locations that boast with strong perception and a pool of highly qualified professionals. These players know that talented people can increase the value of the company. Therefore, one of the main responsibilities of public sector institutions is to convince the corporations to switch their operations into the city.
The local startup ecosystem benefits from the higher investment of globally recognized brands and potential business partnerships to the local founder community. In addition to that, the corporations entering the ecosystem are improving the job market by creating numerous vacancies and hiring local talents.
Universities and consulting companies
When it comes to startup ecosystem marketing, many times, universities and research companies are not being addressed properly nor are aware of the potential benefits. It is important to inform them. They contribute to the startup ecosystem as thought leaders via the research and reports they are releasing.
By promoting your startup ecosystem, you create a circle of information. The new data is being used by the universities and consulting companies to tailor their own reports. Later on, it can be moved further the circle to decision-makers worldwide. They are the ones to decide whether your startup ecosystem has potential and is worth investing resources.
To summarize, focusing on the marketing of your startup ecosystem a critical action that is in the responsibility of the public sector. Today, many organizations are taking the promotion of their startup ecosystem seriously and making an impact on their community. So, why to be left behind?