How to Build an Entrepreneurial Community

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Editor’s Note: In the new podcast Masters of Scale, LinkedIn co-founder and Greylock partner Reid Hoffman explores his philosophy on how to scale a business — and at, entrepreneurs are responding with their own ideas and experiences on our hub. This week, we’re discussing Hoffman’s theory: Silicon Valley has an inimitable blend of talent. No other region can match its collective capacity or wisdom for scaling, except maybe China. Listen to this week’s episode here. 

Many people who want to be a part of an entrepreneurial community think there are only a select few cities where that happens. Not true! The fact is, entrepreneurial communities exist in all corners of the world.

Brad Feld, partner at the Foundry Group and author of Startup Communities, suggests picking the place where you want to live and help build your work and community around it. As Thomas Friedman says in his new book Thanks for Being Late, if it is not happening, then you’re not doing it.

Feld, who is also a co-founder of Techstars, believes that most cities of more than 100,000 are good breeding grounds for entrepreneurial activity. But we can’t wait for this activity to magically happen.

He cites four essentials he argues are necessary for building a start-up community: a critical mass of entrepreneurial leaders who embrace creating something new; a long-term view of at least 20 years to make that community a place where dreams can become reality; a philosophy to welcome everyone who wants to engage at any level around that purpose and, finally, a commitment to have lots of activities and events that engage people in the actual act of entrepreneurship.

You can create the community you want with the right outlook! But it starts with you.

Jeff Harbach

Jeff Harbach

Jeff Harbach is president and CEO of Kauffman Fellows, and a fellow from the Class of ’16. He  has been an entrepreneur and investor since 2002, and was executive director of the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN), based out o…

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