How can your region, country, or city solve the problems plaguing your people? Do you look to the politicians, bureaucrats, or corporate leaders? Where can you find professional problem solvers?
Rather than looking up the hierarchies, you need to look outside of them. Seek out the entrepreneurs, hackers, and startup teams. You see, these are the professional problem solvers who can save your people and unlock your economy’s innovative potential. Harnessing these business creators’ abilities can make or break your regional development, so how do you work with business creators to solve your region’s most pressing problems?
The answer is a four-step process: discovering, training, prioritizing, and empowering.
Discovering Professional Problem Solvers
Where do you find professional problem solvers? Usually, they are absorbed in launching their own ventures, so they are often too busy to engage with your agenda. This is why you need to catch them early, discovering them within your region’s educational system.
Although they may not be the best students on paper, problem solvers are not too difficult to spot. According to Harvard Business Review, serial entrepreneurs tend to possess higher than average levels of five traits: persuasion, leadership, personal accountability, goal orientation, and interpersonal skills. From the computer science to the public policy departments in your region’s universities, you can identify the problem solvers by their dedication to devising novel solutions to their assignments. Extracurricular pursuits, such as launching side hustles or attending hackathons, can also provide tell-tale signs of problem solving potential.
Training Professional Problem Solvers
If you want your region to flourish, you must take people with problem solving instincts and cultivate a class of professional problem solvers. Problem solvers will not always be familiar with startups and their development phases. They may not be inclined to engage with startups because they have their hearts set on corporate or government work. It is your job to teach them otherwise, educating and engaging them in startup culture.
This is an area where Startup Commons can help. Our Growth Academy Training Curriculum provides illuminating content to expose people to the exciting world of startups. Growth Academy is designed to provide a roadmap for potential startup teams and support providers to grow successful startups. Additionally, Startup Commons provides a wide array of free content and resources that you can use to train business creators.
Helping Professional Problem Solvers Prioritize
Once you have cultivated a class of professional problem solvers, you need to focus them on your region’s most pressing problems. The best way to do this is through challenges.
Professional problem solvers love to test their limits with difficult problems. By framing a problem as a nearly impossible challenge, you can engage the best people to design solutions. Hosting hackathons or offering cash prizes are ways to do this on a small scale. On a larger scale you can design accelerator and investment programs that are focused on specific problem sectors, such as water scarcity or food insecurity.
As an example of a challenge, Startup Commons is providing an app challenge where ecosystem developers can submit problems for application developers to solve. The solutions will be featured in Startup Commons’ Ecosystem OS Application Marketplace.
Empowering Professional Problem Solvers
After successfully completing training and prioritization, you must empower your professional problem solvers to bring their solutions to life. This often requires substantial resources and robust support systems, which is where startup ecosystems come into play.
Startups need a whole host of factors to succeed, ranging from talent to capital. Ideally, your region will begin attracting these necessities once you cultivate a class of professional problem solvers and establish a startup culture, as well as a business-friendly regulatory environment. Nevertheless, empowering professional problem solvers can be a difficult task.
Luckily, the Startup Commons team are internationally renowned experts in startup ecosystem development. Please contact us if you reach the empowerment phase and are interested in workshops, training, or consulting.
Startup Commons is here to help your region thrive, and we hope that you found the lessons in this blog post valuable.
Supporting startup ecosystem development, from entrepreneurship education, to consulting to digital infrastructure for connecting, measuring and international benchmarking.
Subscribe for updates
Startup ecosystem development updates with news, tips and case studies from cities around the world.
Are you interested to join our global venture to help develop startup ecosystems around the world?