A few years ago I read a book from Brad Feld called Startup Communities. I didn’t know it at the time, but that book has become my personal community development bible. I find myself returning to it multiple times every year. In the book, Brad speaks about the work they did in Boulder, CO to make it the city that it is today. He gives an in-depth overview of the events and activities, needed for developing startup ecosystems and the people within them. If you have not read this book yet, I encourage you to do so.

My very brief synopsis:

Every city is a startup ecosystem. Each ecosystem is comprised of “Leaders” (entrepreneurs) and “Feeders” (service providers and support organizations). Every community needs heroes, and according to Brad, the heroes in every community are its entrepreneurs. These are the men and women that go to battle every day, starting incredible companies that build products, create jobs, and bring money into our communities.

As one of the founders of Proximity and an owner of coworking spaces, I LOVE being part of a company where I get to serve, support, and advocate for the entrepreneurs in my hometown. As coworking space owners and managers, one of the things we are well positioned for is playing the roll of the “Local Connector”. We are constantly meeting and hosting entrepreneurs in our space. At the same time, we are able to form partnerships with several of our local economic developers, and business support organizations. The more relationships we are able to build with both entrepreneurs (leaders) and support organizations (feeders) the more valuable we become for opposing groups.

This January, our online community of coworking spaces will be using our Coworking Community Calls to focus on these key partners within the startup ecosystem. Our hope is that everyone listening in will be able to learn more about the different types of organizations involved in startup ecosystems, what makes them tick, how they interact together, what they are incentivized by, and how you as a local connector may be able to better work and partner with them.

Here is an overview of our upcoming Coworking Community Calls highlighting Key Partners in a Community’s Ecosystem:

1/10/2019 | Partner Highlight – Financial Investor

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Partner Highlight - Financial Investor


1/24/2019 | Partner Highlight – City Economic Developer

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Robin Brown


2/7/2019 | Partner Highlight – Foundation Director

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Key Partner: Foundation Director


2/21/2019 | Partner Highlight – Business Incubator

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Key Partner: Business Incubator Director


3/7/2019 | Partner Highlight – Commercial Lender

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Key Partner: Commercial Lender


3/21/2019 | Partner Highlight – University-Based Incubator

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Key Partner: University-Based Incubator

4/11/2019 | Partner Highlight – Chamber of Commerce Director

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Key Partner: Chamber of Commerce Director


4/25/2019 | Partner Highlight – Business Accelerator

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Key Partner: Business Accelerator


5/9/2019 | Partner Highlight – State Economic Developer

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Key Partner: State Economic Developer
5/23/2019 | Partner Highlight – Entrepreneur

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Key Partner: Entrepreneur