The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

In their new book The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem,  Brad Feld and Ian Hathaway explore what makes startup communities thrive and how to improve collaboration in these rapidly evolving, complex environments.

We are in the midst of a startup revolution. The growth and proliferation of innovation-driven startup activity is profound, unprecedented, and global in scope. Today, it is understood that communities of support and knowledge-sharing go along with other resources. The importance of collaboration and a long-term commitment has gained wider acceptance. These principles are adopted in many startup communities throughout the world.

And yet, much more work is needed. Startup activity is highly concentrated in large cities. Governments and other actors such as large corporations and universities are not collaborating with each other nor with entrepreneurs as well as they could. Too often, these actors try to control activity or impose their view from the top-down, rather than supporting an environment that is led from the bottom-up. We continue to see a disconnect between an entrepreneurial mindset and that of many actors who wish to engage with and support entrepreneurship. There are structural reasons for this, but we can overcome many of these obstacles with appropriate focus and sustained practice.

The Startup Community Way is an explanatory guide for startup communities. Rooted in the theory of complex systems, this book establishes the systemic properties of entrepreneurial ecosystems and explains why their complex nature leads people to make predictable mistakes. As complex systems, value creation occurs in startup communities primarily through the interaction of the “parts” – the people, organizations, resources, and conditions involved – not the parts themselves. This continual process of bottom-up interactions unfolds naturally, producing value in novel and unexpected ways. Through these complex, emergent processes, the whole becomes greater and substantially different than what the parts alone could produce.

SVB Report: Healthcare Investments & Exits Mid Year 2020

In this report, Silicon Valley Bank explores the mid-year state of healthcare investments and exits around the world.

The questions LPs can ask for due diligence on diversity and inclusion in VC

It is widely recognized that improving diversity and inclusion in the venture capital and private equity industries is the right thing to do. Not only that, but there is strong evidence that increasing diversity will lead to better returns, increased talent retention and more creativity.

Diversity VC has put together a list of questions which Limited Partners can use to ask GPs at venture funds questions during the due diligence process to better understand their approach to diversity and inclusion. The first set of questions is taken from the ILPA guidance, the second has been compiled by Diversity VC in discussions with GPs and LPs in Europe and the US.

If you would like to add any questions, or if you have any comments, please email check@diversity.vc.

Startups and Small Businesses Generated $1.3B in Economic Impact and 11,564 Jobs in 2019 – JumpStart

Startups and small businesses throughout Ohio and New York were thriving in 2019, generating at least $1.3 billion in economic impact on regional economies, according to a recent study published by Silverload Consulting based on data collected by JumpStart.

This study is a snapshot of startups and small business activity in Ohio and parts of New York, but the total impact of entrepreneurial startups and small businesses is even greater. The 2019 economic impact report includes data from 701 companies who responded to the survey and met qualifying requirements (at least one employee plus revenue or payroll.) 242 (34%) of companies led by people of color and 346 (50%) led by women responded.

The Manager’s Guide to Inclusive Leadership — Small Habits That Make a Big Impact

From the immediate need to hold space for Black employees right now and lead vulnerable discussions with your team, to the long-term behaviors that build a welcoming culture, in this post from the First Round Review, the team at LifeLabs helpfully distills inclusive leadership into its four most essential habits:

  • Inviting and displaying authenticity
  • Cultivating self-awareness and curiosity
  • Seeking out and responding well to feedback
  • Lifting up other perspectives consistently.

Allyship In Action: How to Support Black Colleagues Right Now

One of the most powerful ways we can work to end racial injustice and support Black people without putting the burden on Black people is through educating ourselves.

Paradigm has put together this excellent list of resources to support anyone seeking to educate themselves about racial injustice.

Allyship In Action: How Managers Can Support Black Employees Right Now

In this resource by Paradigm, they’ve outlined specific recommendations for managers seeking to support Black employees.

As a manager, you play a pivotal role in how your team navigates this incredibly challenging time. While it’s helpful for employees to hear from company leaders, it is equally critical that they feel directly supported by you as their manager. If you proceed with “business as usual,” it sends a message to people that you don’t believe this is an important topic worthy of time and conversation. To Black employees in particular, it can send a message that you don’t value them.

So, how do you lead your team through this difficult time, particularly when it can be hard to find the words to say, and when different team members may need different things?

Pandemic Impacts Entrepreneuring Women at Work and Home

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all business owners. The Diana International Research Institute (DIRI) team wanted to uncover just how it impacted a specific category of business owners: women.

How are the entrepreneurs responding to the revenue decline? Nearly 40 percent of business owners are deferring or reducing executive pay, more than one-third are delaying payment, and one-quarter are reducing employee hours.

The survey found that women-owned businesses face key structural inequalities due to smaller size and business age, and these businesses also are over-represented in the industries hardest hit by both need for essential services and the economic shutdown.

Young Firms and Regional Economic Growth: Knowledge-Intensive Entrepreneurs Critical

Young Firms and Regional Economic Growth demonstrates how knowledge-intensive and Main Street entrepreneurs are critical to long-term economic success. Metropolitans and micropolitans that started with stronger entrepreneurial ecosystems, as measured by the share of total employment at firms age five years or fewer (young firm employment share) and by the share of employment at those young firms with a bachelor’s degree or higher (young firm knowledge intensity), saw notably faster employment growth between 2010 and 2017 in the United States.

Most Heartland communities did not participate fully in entrepreneurial-driven job growth. There are multiple causes for the subpar rate of job creation in the Heartland besides low engagement in entrepreneurial activities; lower educational attainment with less emphasis placed on innovation tied to research and development stands out among them. However, no other single factor can claim a higher explanatory power than entrepreneurial activities.

Huge financial incentives to lure manufacturing facilities or other operations into a region is no longer cost-effective. The key to long-term economic success lies in developing environments that are conducive for entrepreneurs to start and scale up their firms. Communities must take a holistic approach to build their entrepreneurial ecosystems, and they must be inclusive. It is the ability to connect and engage the elements of an ecosystem as efficiently as possible to maximize job creation. Demographers like to say that “demography is destiny.” Young firms and the entrepreneurial ecosystems that spawned and nurtured them determine the economic destiny of communities.

Why the Crisis Is Putting Companies at Risk of Losing Female Talent

The Covid-19 crisis has reconfigured how we work, parent, and care for ourselves and our communities. It remains uncertain how a post-pandemic society will function, but already a consensus is emerging that the global pivot to working remotely will likely change how many companies think about face time and rigid work schedules.

In this Harvard Business Review article, Colleen Ammerman and Boris Groysberg outline strategies to address four key biases and barriers, to prevent the careers of female employees from becoming collateral damage during this crisis.