I tend to think of the startup community as a really welcoming place. If you have an idea, start working on it and then raise your hand to tell people about it (in an authentic way*) - people will help you out.
However, “raising your hand” is key. In my experience, the community doesn’t do a good job of reaching out and finding others to bring in. You have to self-identify. You have to show up to events and participate, you have to seek someone out who is in the community or you have to engage online in a place like Startup Iowa facebook group.
Once you’ve done that it’s easiest to get connected, routed to someone who is working in an adjacent space or to just feel included.
We don’t always do a particularly good job of getting the broader community (those who haven’t self-identified) involved in what we’re doing. I’m not sure the best way to do that but I think that it's crucial to long term sustainability of our community.
We have some passive outreach. Most notably when local papers throughout the state cover startups. The best example of this is the Des Moines Register with an “Tech/Innovation” section and dedicated beat reporter. Those papers have a broad readership and they’re a good start - but they're still passive.
What are some active ways to connect the startup community with the broader community?
*that’s a story for another day.