Based on part one of this two-part story, identifying the uneven distribution of extreme entrepreneurship and job growth in a few fortunate places that take advantage of innovation that is ubiquitous and portable, how can cities become more like one of those few fortunate places?
The answer, according to the Council on Competiveness in their comprehensive report, Where America Stands: Entrepreneurship, all of which are adopted by successful regions:
1. Creating Angel Networks. It not only starts with money, but money that believes in your local talent. Angel investor groups, often assisted by local economic development organizations, help organize such capital. In 1996 there were only about 10 formal angel groups, while today there are over 200. Sierra Angels is the largest investment group in the Northern Sierra region (Northern California and Nevada), placing over $110 million into more than 140 start-up companies.
Meanwhile, CoolTown has an angel investment group, with a capital source of at least $150 million, seeking cities to ‘adopt’. What is your city waiting for? :)
2. Leveraging Knowledge Assets. Talent starts with universities, and there’s no shortage of evidence on this website for that. Invest state dollars in a world class university, build a living/learning program for entrepreneurs, and provide business opportunities to students before they graduate (and leave town), and after.
3. Catalyzing Connectivity. This is what the content on this website is all about. From the report, “The combustion behind innovation often emerges from chance encounters, face-to-face communications, and close interactions among people, ideas and resources.” A ‘cool town’ is the physical manifestation of those connections, and the beta community is the virtual means that lead to that end.
Image source – Street in Brussels.