Global Entrepreneurship Week has a few goals, and one of the primary goals is to highlight entrepreneur service organizations. Kauffman Foundation did a study of St. Louis’ startup ecosystem and its connections. The important takeaways from the study, from an ecosystem building standpoint, are two-fold:
- what they measure – this information will help guide our decision making process
- what they found – that entrepreneurs learn best by interacting with each other
Here is an excerpt from an article Kauffman Foundation published:
The investigation focused on four key connections within St. Louis’ startup ecosystem: connections between entrepreneurs; connections between support organizations; connections between entrepreneurs and support organizations; and miscellaneous support connections, such as the availability of entrepreneurship-oriented events.
“Entrepreneurs clearly learn best from interacting with other entrepreneurs,” said Karren Watkins, a research associate at the Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Washington University in St Louis. “A strength of the St. Louis startup ecosystem is the extent to which entrepreneurs are connected with others – both peers in similar industries and stages of growth, as well as experienced entrepreneurs who can serve as mentors.”
Inevitably, there will be gaps and overlaps of services, and entrepreneurship support organizations have to maintain constant communication and collaboration to adjust. The study also recommended that they court involvement from experienced entrepreneurs and selectively connect these individuals with startup owners.