We’re lucky to have a team of world leaders in entrepreneurship advise the Startup Communities program, including Bjoern Herrmann, impact measurement expert and founder of StartupCompass.co.
Last week, our community leaders had the opportunity to meet with Bjoern and ask his advice about the work they’re doing in their own communities. Since Bjoern has closely investigated startup communities across the world, he had fantastic insight about setting priorities and clearing obstacles.
Bjoern emphasized what we all know to be true: entrepreneurs are the most important part of the ecosystem. Startups are building the fundamentals of the economy, and the entire network surrounding them needs to understand their importance to the future of the community and nation.
In highly-connected communities, more companies are started, and they execute faster. Grassroots events, like Startup Drinks, are a great way to bring an emerging community together and connect entrepreneurs with each other and with the support organizations around them. Ease of access between startups and investors is another important indicator, and communities should look to facilitate that interaction.
In Bjoern’s study, he suggested that the tendency of a community to adopt trends in business may be the single clearest indicator of whether it will produce successful startups. Communities that don’t embrace trends suffer rather than benefit from the transition in the larger ecosystem. As leaders, we need to bring people in our cities together to drive the shift, and get our entire communities engaged with startups more meaningfully than by viewing it as a cool and exciting environment to be in.
But Not Too Trendy
As much as startups and their communities are about getting something new done, there’s also a great deal that can be learned from those who’ve gone before. Include and seek the advice of the more traditional leaders in your community, and look to other communities as well–both for their tried-and-tested solutions to common problems and for their perspective on new initiatives.
That advice shows how much Bjoern and his work have influenced the foundation of Startup Canada Communities. He’s been an amazing resource to us, and much of his findings are available online. Check out startupcompass.co for his startup genome reports and to see how Bjoern helps tens of thousands of startups diagnose their strengths and weakness and track their success. And watch compass.co for the next generation of tools for startups coming soon!
Want to hear more from Bjoern? Find him on Twitter!