The Startup Ecosystem
pronunciation /i.kəʊ sɪs.təm/ /-koʊ-/ n [C]
All the living things in an area and the way they aﬀect each other and the environment;
An informal place without physical boundaries or structured organization to manage it
A place where everything has a meaning and where each function supports the overall function of the whole ecosystem.
Much like our habitat, our home, the earth where nature goes by her course to ensure as people, we have air to breathe, water to drink, warmth and more.
As entrepreneurial people, we too need this ecosystem or community that we can call home for the very reason that we can then work and provide to people outside this ecosystem.
And when we need to, we can always come back home to our safety, take a break, share an idea, plan a next step, talk to a friend perhaps and then get back to work.
Why do we need this?
Largely because outside this trusted community or ‘our ecosystem’ things are diﬀerent.
People don’t always ‘get you’.
Things don’t always play by similar rules.
You can’t always bounce ideas oﬀ people and get feedback (not for free at least).
People don’t even speak “startup language!”
Outside this ecosystem things work in more general ways not taking into account the life of an entrepreneur and building a startup is very much diﬀerent from what others are doing within the wider world.
In the outside world, when your business venture fails, you are considered a failure.
End of story!
The startup ecosystem is diﬀerent.
So much so that even when you fail, you’re not considered a failure but an entrepreneur that just tried something that did not work.
Perhaps the worst question you will have to encounter is “what did you learn from it?”
It’s not that this community is more forgiving.
It’s just more understanding because everyone there is working in a similar environment with a similar mindset and common goals.
So where do you ﬁnd these communities?
Entrepreneurs tend to look for other entrepreneurs like themselves.
Investors tend to look for entrepreneurs and other investors.
Service providers that cater to startups also look for entrepreneurs and the way to ﬁnd them is to ask from your fellow entrepreneurs or look for startup meetups etc.
This is how communities are formed and ecosystems built.
What we want to do in Startup Commons is to build one trusted community that is as close as your closest computer or smart-phone.
An ecosystem or community you can always visit where ever you are and take with you where you go.
What makes the ecosystem work and how do you participate?
The ﬁrst thing you should do is join in.
Next, take some time to listen and get to know some of the people.
Introducing yourself and maybe start asking some simple questions.
Also oﬀering your help to others is the currency to use.
The more you look into helping others is a way you earn your position and to keep asking more from the experienced people within the community.
In an ideal entrepreneurial community everyone is helping as much as they can and when they need help of others they can just ask.
The balance between sharing/helping others to what you will get in return grows very naturally between people with diﬀerent skills and resources under one ecosystem.
Everyone has something to give and it’s naturally based on what is the easiest resource you can give.
For some it’s time, others it’s knowledge and for some it’s simply… money.
These things develop and change with each person depending on their current stage of their own life and their business.
Founders at a later stage may turn Investors.
Service providers may turn entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs with more settled businesses may turn advisors.
So what makes the community to function is that everyone is trying to do as much for the community as they can.
In return, they just keep getting more and more opportunities or information until it gets to the point they have so much to follow up on outside, that giving back to community ﬁnds it’s natural balance.
When things change, all you have to do is go back to the community and start giving again and soon enough you can ﬁnd yourself in a new venture.
The dictionary says an ecosystem is “all the living things in an area and the way they aﬀect each other and the environment”.
For us, that’s the environment or area where we can grow as entrepreneurs.
Startup Commons is working for that.
We are working to scale entrepreneurship focusing on entrepreneurship education and sharing our expertise and trainings.
Startup Commons has released entire Growth Academy innovation entrepreneurship curriculum training materials with more than 700+ slides, along with supporting booklets for free co-development and use.
All is released under Creative Commons licensing and in editable format.
The curriculum is built, designed and refined over the years to increase the volume of entrepreneurship and likelihood of startup success by focusing on removing or reducing the biggest “universal risks” and to educate about optimal methods and structures.
To give more support during learning process and to train future coaches, we created a serie of training webinars and certification programs.
Supporting startup ecosystem development, from entrepreneurship education, to consulting to digital infrastructure for connecting, measuring and international benchmarking.
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