Brad Feld

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Startup Communities: Creating A Great Entrepreneurial Ecosystem In Your City

Dec 18, 2011
Category Books

I’m deep into writing my latest book. For now, the title is “Startup Communities: Creating A Great Entrepreneurial Ecosystem In Your City.” I’m open to different titles – if you’ve got ideas just put them in the comments.

Following is the current table of contents. It’s still pretty dynamic as I’m adding stuff while I’m writing. I’ve also got a bunch of guest sections coming from all over the US (I’ve got a dozen so far) so as they come in, I’m trying to fit them in (which often generates a new, or different section). If you are a leader in your entrepreneurial community and have something you want to add, email me 500 – 1000 words.

I’m looking for feedback on this table of contents. If anything jumps out at you as wrong, unclear, in the wrong place, or missing, please leave me your thoughts in the comments.

My current goal is to have a first draft ready for circulation finished by 12/31/11. I plan to have the book published and available by 2/29/12. I’m self-publishing this one so there will be no delay in getting it out. I also plan to price it low so it has the potential for broad distribution.

Comments of any sort are welcome and encouraged! The table of contents, as of today, follows.


The Boulder Entrepreneurial Community

  • Boulder As A Laboratory
  • Before the Internet (1970 to 1994)
  • Pre Internet Bubble (1995 – 2000)
  • The Internet Bubble (2001 – 2002)
  • The Beginning of the Next Wave (2003 – 2011)

Principals of a Sustainable Entrepreneurial Community

  • Led By Entrepreneurs
  • Have A 20 Year Commitment
  • Welcome Everyone Into The Entrepreneurial Community
  • Engage The Entire Entrepreneurial Stack

Leaders vs. Feeders

  • What’s A Leader?
  • What’s A Feeder?
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Mentors
  • Government
  • University
  • Investors
  • Service Providers
  • The Importance of Both Leaders and Feeders

Keys of Leadership Culture

  • Inclusive
  • Mentor Driven
  • Non Zero Sum Game
  • Porous Boundaries

The Power of Accelerators

  • The Story of TechStars in Boulder
  • TechStars Impact on Boston
  • TechStars Impact on New York
  • How Accelerators Are Different Than Incubators
  • Why Incubators Don’t Work

Classical Problems

  • Patriarch Syndrome
  • Complaining About Capital
  • Reliance on Government
  • Short Term Commitment
  • Bias Against Newcomers
  • Feeder Control
  • Artificial Geographic Borders
  • Risk Aversion
  • Fear of Failure
  • Zero Sum Game

A Different Example of University Involvement

  • Silicon Flatirons
  • The Components of CU Boulder
  • Why They Don’t Work In Isolation
  • Why The Community Matters Most
  • The Real Value – Fresh Blood Into The System

Entrepreneurs vs. Government

  • Bottom Up vs. Top Down
  • Micro vs. Macro
  • Action vs. Policy
  • Impact vs. Control
  • Self Awareness

Boulder’s Great, But What Are It’s Weaknesses?

  • Parallel Universes
  • Integration With The Rest of Colorado
  • Lack of Diversity
  • Space

Community Power

  • Give Before You Get
  • The Power of Apprenticeship
  • Everyone Is A Mentor
  • Embrace Weirdness
  • Be Open To Any Idea
  • Be Honest

Myths About Entrepreneurial Communities

  • We Need To Be Like Silicon Valley
  • Venture Capital Matters
  • Angel Investors Must Be Organized

How To Get Started

  • Do or Do Not, There Is No Try
  • Resources