The role of technology startups in our global economy has never been more important. Startups may seem insignificant compared to large multinational companies that have trillions of dollars of wealth sloshing around in public markets, but a Kauffman Foundation study found that the majority of job growth in the United States is driven by technology startups. The power of information technology has been steadily increasing for the last three decades and has recently reached a level of maturity that has started to trigger a reorganization of the global economy. It has never been easier or cheaper to create a startup thanks to infrastructure like open source software, software as a service, cloud hosting, globally ubiquitous payment processing, viral distribution channels, real-time collaboration, on demand logistic services and hyper-targeted advertising.
As a result, the pace of change is speeding up and the implications of this are immense. Billion dollar startups are emerging faster and faster. Given the innovative startups’ critical role in the information economy, the importance of healthy startup ecosystems only stands to increase in the future, being this the reason why local, regional and national governments across the world are establishing programs to support tech entrepreneurs in an effort to stimulate economic growth and job creation.
The City of Barrie has a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem background with key players like Invest Barrie, Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre at Georgian College or VentureLAB. Its target is to make the transition from entrepreneurship to startup ecosystem and wants to encourage technology entrepreneurs to start and grow global businesses that will create more jobs, boost Barrie’s economy, strengthen global connections and make the city a more desirable place to live, work and visit.
Barrie’s tech startup ecosystem is in the very early stages of development and they face challenges like lack of volume factor, limited access to investment, key services and activities, as well as a framework in place to break with silo mentality and implement a holistic approach that can bring more connectivity, measurement and benchmarking to its startup ecosystem.
Initial two days kick off workshop to build mutual understanding of the current level of Barrie's startup ecosystem and services, to figure out what development and focus is required first and which parts of this development would benefit the most to begin with. This allows to then set a clear target and milestones, along with a specific plan, timeline and budget to reach the set target.
As part of running the workshop, the main covered steps were:
- Built SWOT analysis at city level for mutual knowledge building and vision alignment, taking into consideration the local, regional and national starting levels of entrepreneurial culture and activity and different phases in the startup lifecycle
- Initial startup ecosystem mapping, including key organizations, their services and activities. Identified their key bottlenecks and blind spots, as well as current knowledge, support and training activities
- Specific knowledge about the startup ecosystem framework for joint coordination and to further digitize the startup ecosystem for systematic mapping and visualization, as well as connectivity improvement, monitoring, measurement and benchmarking
- Specific knowledge about how to connect with digital investing and lending ecosystems to promote startups and showcase them to global investors
- Timeline building for the next 3 years
- Defined the measurements at local level to be used to measure the innovation output together with the levels of entrepreneurial and investment activity
- Roadmap plan for the next 12 months
Startup ecosystem development is no longer a concept just for big cities. Smaller cities are making a step forward, leveraging their size to be not only faster and more flexible for coordination activities, decision making and services implementation but also to find the room to collaborate with other bigger startup ecosystems.
If you are planning to initiate similar transition or improve your current one, please take 30 secs to check here your startup ecosystem maturity level and then contact us for consultation.