for the Boises of the world?
seen what Chattanooga has quietly done over the last decades knows what a ‘can
do’ group of citizens are able to make happen… their own gigabit internet,
incubating businesses, building not just a great entrepreneurial community
but... a great community period! But I’ll leave the rest to anyone who’s
An old Idaho
chum, the shy-and-retiring ;) Wild
Bill Sellers, former Idaho Falls gadfly/cheerful curmudgeon and co-inventor of
Idaho Tech Launch, sent me the link below and asked for all the ideas hw could
“steal” and pitch to the organizers of Chattanooga’s Next Big Thing. Startup
Week. (Not sure if this is the Startup Week being pitched by UP Global but it’s
a great, great idea… IFF it’s done well, of course.)
After seeing how Colorado Springs pulled off a great week-long event
recently – despite opposition from the Turf Monsters ;) –> it sounds like the
kind of thing that can bring together all the good folks in a community.
So the following is what I sent Bill... and it makes me want
to plunge forward myself! (I will insert a few short asides as to how
this might work in, ahem, Idaho.)
So… anything below that makes you want IN?
Dear Bill, er, Chattanooga:
Ah, Startup Week! Is this part of the national/global effort
from UP Global?
#1 Success Factor. Do NOT ask the "experts", tell
them to ask the entrepreneurs. Sponsors
may insist on some input but that's ok as long as you listen to the entreps.
See www.bigomaha.com for a shorter, but great model. Founder Jeff Slobotski
will help them.
Really depends on what the community wants to learn (again
NOT what the "experts” think they
need to hear. ) Having said that, here are some ideas that play well anywhere.
Here are three:
1. Think Global; Act Local [let
me plug great OTHER folks]
1. GLOBAL and LOCAL: Engage National/Global Allies
If this is not
the UP Global Startup Week model, I'd still reach out ASAP to
them –for example, my friend Shauna Causey, email@example.com, tell her I sent ya!
They have tons of ideas. See GEW below.
Kauffman is going through some changes but they
are still trying to help communities - start with my new chum Nathan Kurtz
there [firstname.lastname@example.org] and the totally awesome 1 Million Cups initiative
which they should launch [www.1millioncups.com]
SourceLink - dynamite model for keeping the
ecosystem defragged [www.kcsourcelink.com for best example; Cathi Ulrich,
email@example.com is key contact. She is one of those who nominated me for the
National Advisory Council for Innov and Entrep! Totally badass, Cathi might be
a great speaker for this event, as would Shauna, Nathan and Slobotski.
Entrepreneurship Week - 3rd week of
November but becoming almost year-round. The Chattanooga team needs to connect
there too if they haven't already. There are some global events that make much
sense - for example, do a Startup Weekend at the start or end of GEW and the
winners become part of a GLOBAL competition. Total hoot. And a great way to
help keep the positive momentum rolling after the October event!!!
Is that enough, Bill?
(Whew... I envy you, bro... I wish we could get the squabbling children
together here to do something like this! NOTE to Idaho: We are making progress… keep your eyes peeled!)
A series of events where you engage the entrepreneurs in
growing the ecosystem. Bill, this is what I do -- it can be a 2-3 hour workshop
or a series of activities.Combines the best of what we know with serial
entrep/VC Brad Feld's clever model (book: "Startup Communities")
Done this for OECD, EU, in Singapore, Japan, Cairo, NJ,
Denmark and Moscow/Pullman (that was actually a blast... seeing UI & WSU
work *together*? Priceless!) These workshops always make an impact -and
surfaces the turf monsters.... :)
If they want to focus on ecosystem growing, you have
a) do a world-class map of the ecosystem,
starting in advance... Has to be done brilliantly - a crappy map is not a big
help (that's what most cities have).
b) do a listening session: use AI/ABCD tools -
again, entreps only. Could do more than 1. (Should.)
c) tactics workshop (the 2-3 hour version
e) How to Keep the Momentum: simple mechanisms
for keeping the lessons alive (e.g., the right metrics...)
If they like, this could comprise an event each day. I can
prep local facilitators so this doesn't become a great event that fades in a
week. [NOTE to Idaho: We can do this… so let’s!]
3. Nurturing the Entrepreneurial Mindset
[NOTE to Idaho: I am working with Ice House and a deep connection
with NFTE who's got a similar program. Why not put something like Ice House in EVERY
tell me true, my friends… assuming you’ve read this far ;) …
am I giving Chattanooga bad advice?
entrepreneurially yours, Norris