How to Foster a Startup Ecosystem?

How can we create and organize a thriving startup ecosystem in the Netherlands? That’s what the people of StartupDelta are currently investigating. While they are visiting the startup and tech hotspots in the Netherlands to get input from them, we recalled an interesting white paper that seemed more relevant than ever.

A couple of months ago UP Global, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, released a white paper titled Fostering a Startup and Innovation Ecosystem. The presentation of their paper, including successful examples worldwide is embedded below.

Five main ingredients that help to foster successful ecosystems are, according to UP Global:

Talent 

  • Create flexible labor markets
  • Support new learning experiences
  • Promote workplace diversity

Density

  • Support cluster growth
  • Create physical hubs
  • Drive awareness through media
  • Build networks & mentors
  • Link research with business

Culture 

  • Highlight entrepreneurs as role models
  • Accept failure as part of the learning process
  • Promote jobs at startups
  • Foster public-private communication

Capital

  • Provide access to capital
  • Create incentives for new and experienced investors

Regulatory environment

  • Increase the ease of doing business
  • Focus on tax policy
  • Create intermediary responsibility and safe harbors
  • Enable a free and open global web
  • Create flexible limitations to copyright
  • Provide patent protection that supports innovation
  • Formalize alternative funding mechanisms
  • Support research & development

Most of these ingredients are pretty obvious. We also came across some of them in the book and blogs of the the Innovation Rainforest, for example. Nevertheless, creating and organizing a successful ecosystem requires not only the ingredients but also a powerful implementation that has been adapted to the local context (we know this because we did a study last year to improve the startup ecosystem in the Twente area, one of the tech and startup hotspots in the Netherlands).

Yes, StartupDelta should have a look at these ecosystem ingredients and yes, StartupDelta should look at the local contexts to find the form in which they suit our startup ecosystem(s) best. It won’t be easy but their roadshow is a good start.

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