VC Mark Suster wrote an awesome post on kickstarting startup communities that identifies 5 attributes of a healthy startup ecosystem. More importantly, those attributes are attainable for any city, not just New York, Boston, or Silicon Valley. Yes, that means they’re attainable for Lansing, too.
The five attributes include:
- Co-Working Space
- Angel & Recycled Capital
- Venture Capital
- Mavens & Marketing
Events are important for communities because they help like-minded individuals meet other, connect, and form meaningful relationships. Flagship events, such as SxSW in Austin promote the city and make outside capital, corporations, and communities aware of what’s happening in our community.
Co-working space is important because it provides low-rent, dense environments for talented entrepreneurs, developers, and service-providers to come together under one roof. The result is often more opportunity for faster collaboration, help, and efficient recycling of talent. Good co-working space can also spawn constructive competition as entrepreneurs strive to out-succeed each other.
Angels & Recycled Capital
The cost of technology – and thus, the cost of launching a startup – has decreased dramatically. Still, entrepreneurs have to eat. So, access to early stage & seed capital is still important. In flourishing communities, angels often fill that role for companies needing to raise between $250k & $1M. Accelerators often provide the first $25-$50k of runway.
Recycled capital refers to capital put back into the community after an exit. For example, in Atlanta, David Cummings put $20m into the Atlanta Tech Village after selling Pardot for $100M in 2012. As more startups succeed, more capital is put back into the community, creating a virtuous cycle.
Venture capital is often used to help scaling businesses scale faster. Different from early stage investment, when companies are still trying to find product/market fit, venture capital helps companies that are growing, grow more aggressively. It is also often used to help finance cutting-edge R&D with a lot of potential upside.
Marketing & Mavens
Mavens love this city and promote the heck out of it. Every city needs cheerleaders and people working to help move the needle forward. It’s hard work building up a startup community, but these people are committed to it and want to share that story with others around the country and beyond.
How Does Lansing Fare?
We’re curious to get your feedback – how do you think Lansing fares on these dimensions? How would you like to see it continue to grow and evolve?
Rate Our Ecosystem!
How would you rate our startup ecosystem? Take our 5-question survey now! Subscribe to our newsletter to get the results next week!
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