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Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,612 ratings  ·  84 reviews
An essential guide to building supportive entrepreneurial communities"Startup communities" are popping up everywhere, from cities like Boulder to Boston and even in countries such as Iceland. These types of entrepreneurial ecosystems are driving innovation and small business energy. Startup Communities documents the buzz, strategy, long-term perspective, and dynamics of bu ...more
Kindle Edition, 225 pages
Published September 6th 2012 by Wiley (first published January 1st 2012)
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Sep 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book. I really appreciated the real world examples Mr. Feld provided as well as how he engaged the greater global startup community to augment the book with stories, insights, and experiences.

There are two concepts that will definitely stick with me for years to come. The first, and my personal favorite, is that you must, "Give before you get." This statement's power is in its simplicity. I believe it is how I've tried to live my professional (and personal) life and seeing it spelled o
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book - it was an easy, quick read. The author gave a lot of great insight into the Boulder startup community and gave some very actionable examples that one can take in their own community. I like this book most because it was very applicable to building any type of community, not just a startup community.
James Estes
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: startups
This book could be subtitled: "Welcome to the Boulder Startup Community!" I recommend it to anyone interested in Startup Communities, but also anyone interested in learning more about Boulder itself. It was fun to read about people I know personally, and companies I've worked for and to learn more about the state of the startup community in Boulder. Feld does a really good job of painting the "What is Working" and to some extent "Why it's working" in Boulder. The book doesn't really have specifi ...more
Nic Brisbourne
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good practical book which identifies the key elements of a successful startup community and describes how to build one.

The keys:
- lead by entrepreneurs who are passionate about the success of startups in their community and are prepared to work at it for the long term
- open and inclusive attitude (everyone helps everyone else because what goes around comes around)
- have lots of events (meetups, hackathons, seminars, competitions, cocktail parties, etc.)
- have a strong and supportiv
Nov 20, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was a roller coaster of like and dislike. I found some of what he had to say regarding start up communities to be interesting and insightful but found a lot of it to be bragging, name dropping and condescending. I don't disagree that he is an experienced professional but definitely not all knowing. I often felt like he was painting a picture of the government as being the enemy to entrepreneurs rather than a resource. I completely agree that bureaucracy can get in the way and that the ...more
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I got this book from my professor for free last year. I recently moved to south Florida and I want to help the community grow as I grow. I though this would be a good book to help me. Today there is a trend to take 10 pages of valuable content and make it 200 page book. Unfortunately this book is following that trend.
Melody Warnick
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entrepreneurs don't ask permission, they just do things—a pretty good model for the rest of us. ...more
Emidia Felipe
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I should have read this book years ago. There's a lot of good experiences and enlightening guidelines not only for startup communities, but also for any kind of community connected to innovation. ...more
Majelle Legros
Yeah, not my usual read, I know, but this was for work okay.
Jay Waghray
Nice to read the updates since it was first written. Some useful info on the ecosystems in a geography and how they interact.
Davi Bauer
Apr 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business-startup
I liked the reading about startup communities. I'm eager to put into practice some of ideas presented in the book in the technology hub where I work to integrate even more the startup community. A lot of events and activities that we see out there today emerged from the startup community around Boulder, CO. The most part of the book refers to the experience learned from this region.

The main ideas presented in the book was about the leaders and the feeders. The author reinforces that the entrepre
Edward Avila
Feb 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading the book. Brad offers 20 years of insight from his very own experience at Boulder, Colorado. He does a great job describing the difference between “feeders” and “leaders” in the startup ecosystem. It also provides a lot of actionable examples and strategies that many can use.

I strongly recommend this book to others who are thinking about building or getting involved in a startup community. Personally, I recently launched an early-stage accelerator name "Manos Accelerato
Oct 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a participant in the the Boulder startup community, I read this mostly for the background into the Boulder tech scene and the history for how it developed. It was a quick, easy read - mostly not aimed at me (somebody who isn't interested in being a leader in a startup community), but I found the background on Boulder engaging and pertinent to my own life. Because of the personal connection I can't quite say how interesting other people might find this book, but I definitely enjoyed it.

Three s
Austin Storm
Given the specificity of this book (encouraging the formation and growth of venture-funded type startups) I thought it would go deeper. The chapter on the differences between government and entrepreneurship (the difference between hierarchy / institutional thinking and network thinking) was good, but most of the chapters were written by the authors friends to describe their respective roles in the Boulder startup community. Very surface-level introduction.
Alfiero  Santarelli
This book is a must-read for those who care about startup communities, absolutely boring for anyone else. It's a collection of practical cases and interviews to startup community organizers and event creators, creating a set of best practices for how to start and foster this kind of environment. Here and there it also betrays a strong US-style mindset. In short, take it as a self-help book or a practical manual. ...more
Daniel Cukier
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: startups
This book is awesome! Brad writes very well. It is an easy and clear reading. If you love startups and want to learn ways to engage your community, this is a must read.

The arguments in the book are not so scientific, but this do not diminish the value.

There are many testimonials of entrepreneurs in this book. Brad makes sure to put the twitter username of this guys, so it is also a great opportunity to reach some great people and start making connections.
Sahand Seifi
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great insight on how to build and foster startup culture in a community in a long-term approach. Highly recommended to people who are in love with entrepreneurship and their cities!
The long quotes from 3rd parties were unnecessary and hard to read on eReaders. Some points like "governments are feeders..." were repeated more than 5 times throughout the book. Seriously, keep it short.
I would have loved to see an example case study in eastern nations.
Karlo Mikhail
Jul 16, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A cross between a feel-good inspirational book and a how to guide but centered on the world of tech startups. Great as an overview about so-called 'startup communities' but many of its propositions are too enmeshed in neoliberal illusions of a digital utopia and the farce of the free market to be taken seriously. ...more
Mohamed Labadi
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When in April 2019 I arrived to my home country Algeria to help build entrepreneurial and tech ecosystems in the country, this wonderful book was my "cookbook" on how to proceed.

Startup Communities documents the buzz, strategy, long-term perspective, and dynamics of building communities of entrepreneurs who can feed off of each other's talent, creativity, and support and thereby energize entire cities and industries.

The book offers valuable insights into increasing the breadth and depth of the e
Beau Robicheaux
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, and I'd no doubt recommend it to anyone who is interested in becoming a part of a "startup community" as an entrepreneur, investor, or mentor.

At the heart of the book is the premise that the community should be decentralized yet bound together by self-interest, buffered by a "Give First" mentality. Fully agree, and I tend to think of it analogously like the Houston tunnels; an impressive achievement in decentralized cooperation, where each building has found it to be in its self-int
Julie Akeman
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, this was a great book, and it hits on some points about trying to get people on board with an idea (like us working at the library trying to get the city officials on board with an idea) you don't need people's approval to do your startup. I am just newly added to a co-op art gallery in my town and I see this book as very relevant to our situation as a small art business. We are in a very small town and trying to push the economy and bring people in to the town instead of having so many, es ...more
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this is similar to having a guest speaker at your class on Economic Development. He comes at you with experience and reflections on what worked for Boulder. In that sense, this short read (188 pages) is packed with good information in an area with so little published. He gives what he calls his Boulder Thesis: four attributes for developing a strong start up community. One such idea is that Entrepreneurs must lead and he spends much of the book building the case. Entrepreneurs, by nature ...more
Sep 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, investing
I picked this up after listening to Feld's interview on Tim Ferriss. The book covers a brief history of startups and tech investing in the US, and how the Boulder startup community came to be.

Some of the more interesting sections were the Boulder Thesis, the ingredients that made the Boulder startup community work; the different roles in a community: feeders, leaders and instigators; and adapting the startup community to more rural environments.

Great primer on a topic that was totally new to me
Lance McNeill
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Too Anecdotal to be deserving of its broad title

This book should be titled “my experience building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Boulder Co.”. The book’s title purports to be a much broader lesson in the methodology of establishing startup communities, but 80% of the content is specific to one case study - that of Boulder, Colorado.
While this is fine and valuable, the title misleads you to think there is any broad research or literature review conducted to really understand a complex ecosyste
Peter Fuller
Feb 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5.5-star useful content more than makes up for some of the nits you can pick (some topics are far more useful than others, advice is overwhelmingly skewed in the perspective of white male technologists, many ideas just aren’t feasible for communities without the natural attraction of an area like Boulder).

Reads like a series of blog posts on a variety of really interesting topics. Super useful list of ideas, doesn’t spend too much time on each subject. Winner of the “A 200-Page Jam-Packed Page
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book looking to learn what the key areas for building a startup community were. Feld delivers on this and the book starts off with a great model of what is needed in a city for a startup community to thrive. The second half of the book wasn't as valuable as the first half as it was more anecdotes. It's well written, to the point and a valuable resource for anyone interested in the topic. ...more
Kat White
This is an interesting enough read, but is completely anecdotal so not great for a research reference. I'm not sure I've ever come across a non-fiction book with zero references before - seems pretty lazy not to read any other works or do any fact-checking. Good to read if you want to hear other people's experiences on building communities and creating events. This is advice and opinion not researched facts. ...more
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Useful advice for those interested in how startup communities evolve and prosper. Using Boulder, Colorado as his frame of reference, one can see how such entities come together. However, he refers to Boulder (pop. 100,000) as a small city. It didn't answer my main question, how does such a network dynamic begin and evolve in a rust belt town of 2,500? I'm sure that the author would say that the answers are there, you just have to start talking to people. More investigation required. ...more
Aadil Ayub
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intuitive micro- and macro-level guide to building sustainable startup communities in any context. Should be required reading for leaders of any startup organization/accelerator imo.

Key learning: It's not resources (e.g. VC capital, university funding, government support), but culture and networks that drive the growth of a startup ecosystems.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-english, 2019
Very interesting to open a new point of view / approach to building a community. For sure it is a book that has to be read time to time cause every-time you read, you might see things a little different (as the local community stage advances) and moreover get inspiration for creating and applying new things/events or organisations.
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Brad has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur since 1987. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures. Brad is also a co-founder of Techstars.

Brad is a writer and speaker on the topics of venture capital investing and entrepreneurship. He’s written a number of books as part of the Startup Revolution series and wri

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