General life advice is to surround yourself with a good community regardless of what you’re doing. This is because a good community gives you and others unique opportunities to achieve success. Over the summer I have gotten to experience how StarterStudio does this mid-COVID-19.
In my time as a marketing intern, I have worked on a few projects that required me to meet with or put on events for the community including but not limited to founder interviews, announcements, and event-specific content creation. The amount of time and care put into scheduling, partnering, and finding space to host these events is worthwhile to StarterStudio as it is a way to provide value to its members, while simultaneously supporting the greater community. In the long run, these events end up creating a stronger community, which in turn helps StarterStudio grow. There are four ways StarterStudio involves the community by putting on consistent events. These are Webinars, Lunch & Learns, Pitch Nights, and investor showcases. The value proposition for attending these events is that founders, investors, and other companies all get together in one place to talk about entrepreneurship and the tech industry. In addition, for those enrolled in StarterStudio’s programs gain access to a broader community outside of StarterStudio’s in-house network that has been built up over the years.
The structured approach incubators and accelerators bring to a community is extremely apparent when you compare it to cities that do not have similar programming. For starters, you often find communities without incubators have small and closed off networks that end up raising the barrier of entry for novice entrepreneurs. Furthermore, startups have lower success rates due to the lack of professional programming and a harder time seeking partnerships due to the lack of networking events. The presence of an incubator encourages isolated networks to intermix thus making the local community stronger in the long run.
An incubator that actively promotes the local entrepreneurship community recognizes the importance of partnership in the success of startups and is the major reason why a good incubator promotes and/or fosters the community. The programming provided by an incubator is not enough if they can’t help find the necessary resources to get your startups off the ground. Having a healthy and diverse community helps immensely in that regard because it is a long-term investment in the local people that live in the area.