Since we are coming up on the 2nd annual Startup Weekend event, I thought I would focus my blog this month on entrepreneurship and the environment that is necessary to make a startup community take root.
At a recent Idea Dinner, we discussed the book Rise of the Creative Class and what certain ingredients are necessary to attract a creative class group to an area. Here are a few of those elements:
Clustering Forces: One main factor in Startup Weekend’s success is the collaboration and connectivity it has by bringing groups of driven, motivated and creative individuals together in one space. This is a sampling of what clustering forces can do. It is important to understand that no matter how the digital age develops, we are still beings that crave interaction with each other. Clustering forces are ways we cluster together as a community to share information, ideas and begin to formulate plans. Clusters occur at local coffee shops, tech incubators or any third place that encourages open conversation. The most important thing to consider in this equation is that progress and action happens in a “bee-hive” environment and not in isolation or a cocoon.
Affordable and Creative Startup Spaces: Given the complexities of the energy and resources it takes to get a startup up and running, there must exist a place or space that balances creativity and affordability. The garage startup is a great example of where an idea forms and then crystalizes. The next step is to find a space that will allow this plan to take root and expand. Pop culture always portrays this environment in an old warehouse with brick walls and barn lighting. The important point is that the space is inexpensive enough not to burden the company too soon and designed in such a way that allows creativity to shape the path of the company.
Self-Circulating Educational System: This sounds like a confusing phrase I know, but the principle is one of the most important factors in maintaining a strong economic community for years to come. A community that is able to educate creative minds and then cycle those minds into their own community is one that will see exponential results. These creative minds, once connected to the local creative community, will then
begin to create ideas, which turn into plans, spilling over into products that create demand for jobs. This type of self-sustaining element is what will keep a community relevant and prosperous not only in terms of financial gains, but also in terms of quality of life. The byproduct of this self-circulating system is a pride in ones community because those who have gone through the process will now have a personal stake in its success.
There are many other pieces of the puzzle to building a creative class community and jump starting a company, but I encourage you to get involved with a startup environment. I think you will find it rewarding on many levels. Lastly, if you had ever had an idea or wanted to know what it takes to start a business, please attend our Startup Weekend: www.startupdaytona.com.