I was recently at a meeting with some startup community builder friends and the idea came up that entrepreneurial ecosystems can really benefit from having a community "flag" to rally around and get all the elements—people, companies, investors, chambers, etc.—moving in the same direction.
The Kauffman Foundation held their first ever ESHIP Summit last week in Kansas City, bringing together about 400 people from all over the world who had some familiarity with the term "entrepreneurial ecosystem". The idea was to get all these folks in one large room and work through some of the foundational elements of what is becoming a burgeoning industry: intentionally working to grow your community's ecosystem. Or as I usually refer to it "startup community building".
I said last time that this week would be busy and that has certainly been the case.
I had a great time on Thursday at the Technology Association of Iowa's Prometheus Awards event in Des Moines. This was TAI's 12th annual iteration of the event and I'm pretty sure that I've been to half of them. I'm always impressed by how well they're produced and they seem to get better every year.
I know that sometimes industry awards get a bum rap as being too self-congratulatory—I understand where that comes from—but I really like the Prometheus Awards for three reasons.
I'm excited to share that Iowa will once again be well represented on Paul Singh's North American Tech Tour. We had Paul and Dana in Des Moines for a few days last July—most likely the hottest days of the summer a/k/a the time I learned the term "heat dome"—filled with presentations, investor pitches, a slew of office hour meetings and day trips to both Cedar Rapids and Ames (here's the full recap).
One of my favorite things to do is to get out of Des Moines and visit other cities to see how their startup communities work, how they've implemented things like coworking and to build relationships with the people who make it all function. The only problem is that I rarely make the time to do it.Last Thursday, however, I packed up the Honda and drove west across the Missouri River.
Last week I wrote a post about the broader Iowa innovation community's achievements in 2016 and this week I want to highlight the good things that happened a little closer to home here in the Gravitate community. All in all, it was a pretty eventful year in 2016 so even though we’re already a few days into January, I wanted to take a few minutes to share some things that I'm proud we accomplished.
Paul Singh shared something on his blog this week with regards to comparing many of the 38 startup communities (including Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Ames) that he had visited throughout the last year: "In short, it’s pretty much the same everywhere."
After two weeks of travel, it feels good to be back on the ground and relatively stable here in Iowa for a few weeks. Unfortunately, all of the emails and tasks that I snoozed while I was traveling came flooding back on Monday morning and two days later I'm still catching up on everything.
Bonjour from Montréal! I'm up north for the Canadian edition of the Global Coworking Unconference Conference or GCUC (they pronounce it "juicy"—really, they do!). I participated last year when the conference was in Toronto and found so much value in it that I knew I needed to come back this year.