Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Brad Feld, co-founder of TechStars speaks about entrepreneurial ecosystems at NBIA Conference

A few weeks back, Nic Zito from Rev3 was in Denver for the National Business Incubation Association's national conference and had the opportunity to hear from Brad Feld, co-founder of TechStars and lead investor in MakerBot and FitBit.(video included below). Brad's talk centered around the best practices for fostering innovative, entrepreneurial ecosystems within a certain demographic area. Brad lives in Boulder, CO and over the past 10 years their innovative landscape has been exploding.

TechStars was founded in 2006, they now have locations all over the world boasting many company expansions, investments, and exits. TechStars is an accelerator that takes equity in the company upon application and in turn invests 2 rounds of convertible note structure. Along with these investments come invaluable mentorship from top entrepreneurs.

Brad’s main point centered around the need for ecosystems which have circular relationships and ‘give back’. Meaning, when individual entrepreneurs or companies start in an area become successful, they then turn around and reinvest into the local community through not only monetary investment but also mentorship. This creates an atmosphere of first time entrepreneurs who have guidance and stability to navigate the startup scene. Success in startup world can never be fully insured, but practices like this help to drive the failure rate down