Even though communities are often looked at as social structures, it seems that they are indispensable for startup ecosystems too.
The Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report 2019 by StartupBlink has discovered some interesting findings revealing the relationship between the success of the ecosystem and community. In many cases, behind a strong startup ecosystem, there was a vibrant community that worked alongside. And not for coincidence, most cities that were at the top of the rankings had a powerful community where people not only occasionally work towards the same goal but share a common lifestyle.
People are hungry for a sense of community like never before and it is critical in many aspects. However, building one requires a lot further than getting people together in the same place, be that a physical one or online.
In this article, we will discuss a few reasons why the community is so vital for the startup ecosystem. Also, based on the years of expertise working to improve the world’s startup ecosystems, we will share some programs that you can take part in as a private or public sector.
Communities build connections
As startups are so uncertain, unlike traditional businesses, they need constant support from like-minders. Communities provide opportunities to meet, connect, and create together by organizing numerous events. Hence, if your startup ecosystem lacks a sense of community, take the lead and get events off the ground. A good startup ecosystem has from 5 to 7 events daily. However, in the initial phase, it has to aspire to have at least 3 events weekly. Even if they have to be artificially created by startup ecosystem developers.
Other than that, if there is no coworking space in your startup ecosystem, join forces with the public sector and build it as soon as possible. This way you will help founders to cut off the uncertainty, and motivate them by uniting with people who are going through the same dilemmas. At the same time, it will add to the strength of the ecosystem. (Talking of which, here is an article on startup ecosystem development strategies with tips for public and private sectors)
Knowing who is doing what
Communities allow track of activities within an ecosystem. Meeting with different players helps to figure out who is working on what and hence, connect relevant members. It is always advisable to have a leader who will keep track of existing projects and make the first step in introducing them to the new members of the community. Alternatively, we always advise mapping your ecosystem activities and having open access to knowledge and resources. Such document should be made available not for only people inside the community but outside too. With the increase of startup ecosystem mapping popularity, more leaders are taking the steps to track the activities and projects. If you have not started mapping yet, check our article about the importance and benefits of doing so.
Creating an entrepreneurial culture
In many cases, the problem behind unsuccessful startups is the mindset that working regular business hours is the norm. Startup people usually have different working schedules that alienate them and often make them feel left out. Therefore, startup communities create a friendly environment for everyone building things on their personal preferences. This does not limit to 9 to 5 jobs but rather allows a more entrepreneurial mindset and freedom.
Mindset of knowledge
We have already talked about how uncertain the startup path is and the importance of keeping founders motivated. When building on a low budget, the success of founders lays in access to top-notch knowledge. This information and news transfer can only be possible in the community. Numerous startups often require emotional resilience. If you are all by yourself, overcoming the psychological burden might be too difficult. Having a community can help you go through low moments by sharing a piece of needed advice or experience.
Sharing success stories
Lastly, communities are great not only when founders need support, but also to share inspiring moments. Success stories happening in the community become even more impactful. They are being noticed, valued by and motivate other members. And we are not only talking about the most expensive projects in the market but all, even the smallest, achievements. Without a community, a brand new tiny feature for your product, tweet in your local newspaper, or first sale might not even be noticed. However, in the community, nothing slips away and you are being constantly motivated to continue building.
Briefly, if your startup ecosystem lacks the community aspect, the developers need to step in and glue related people up. The communities are critical to motivating their members, providing the necessary support and emotional resilience, as well as celebrating success stories.
We know that there are many leaders out there who are struggling in using the full potential of their startup ecosystem and creating robust communities. To make the journey easier, we are offering all the necessary tools. Our exclusive City Partners (only one Partner per city) get visibility by 75,000+ entrepreneurs and decision-makers on the StartupBlink Global Startup Map, as well as acknowledgment as our research partner in our widely spread Startup Ecosystem Reports and admin access to both our startup data and Meetup communities. If interested, follow this link and find out more information about how to enroll.