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Four things a city needs to become a startup hub

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It makes sense that being part of a thriving startup community can bring huge benefits to your own project. Still, not all startup founders have the opportunity or desire to move to Silicon Valley, New York, London, Beijing, or any of the others. major startup hubs

In this article, we’ll talk about finding a productive compromise.

Paul Graham, one of the founders of Y Combinator, tells in his blog about the concept of the Milanese Leonardo† The idea is that such a person does not exist – all the great Italian Renaissance painters come from Florence.

There were certainly people of great talent in 15th-century Milan, but they were unable to realize their talent as well as their fellow Florentine painters.

“There are always a few hot topics and a few groups doing a great job on it, and it’s almost impossible to do a good job yourself if you’re too far from one of these centers. You can push or pull these trends to a certain extent, but you can’t get rid of them. (Maybe you do, but the Milanese Leonardo isn’t.)’, Graham says in his blog.

The principle is fully applicable to startups. Being connected to a thriving ecosystem is a critical factor for the success of any startup project.

Yet the Milanese Leonardo did not have access to the Internet. To reap the benefits of startup ecosystems without going there, it’s interesting to consider the exact factors that make a startup project more likely to succeed in one geographic location compared to another.

Access to knowledge

Success in any field is achieved on the basis of accumulated knowledge. Startups and the tech industries they thrive in have their own specifics, and being part of a community with a deep pool of accumulated expertise makes a huge difference.

It’s hard to be successful in a high-value field when you have to start reinventing the wheel, so access to co-successful founders, mentors, and knowledgeable partners is an advantage that’s hard to offset.

To access knowledge you can do two things. First, you can actively use the informational content created by people who have been successful at what you want to do. Paul Graham’s essays are a good example of this. Second, and more importantly, look for a personal connection with people who work in your industry and are located in thriving hubs. Communicate online, connect on social media, participate in forums, and consider traveling to hubs and events to make these connections naturally.

If you’re serious about building a tech startup, it’s a good idea to build a strong relationship with at least one investor, mentor, or partner in an active startup hub. This person will serve as your bridge to the community not only in terms of knowledge but also in terms of connections.

Connectedness and access to talent

Attract starting talents is not an easy task, so it helps a lot if you live in a community where you get to know such people.

However, after the pandemic, remote working became much more standard, especially for developers. Building a remote team is almost mandatory if you are not in a startup hub. You simply wouldn’t have access to local high-quality talent, which would make your growth much more difficult.

Access to capital

Last but not least, most VCs and angel investors with successful investment track records are located in startup hubs. This makes it easier to collect money if you live and work there yourself. Some investors even say they don’t invest in companies that are not located within driving distance.

Let’s assume you’ve already solved your problem with access to knowledge and connections, which is in large part why good investors add a lot of value to early-stage projects. If you are only interested in capital, chances are your local government is trying to stimulate and develop an active ecosystem, and they do so primarily by providing finance to SMEs.

The available capital would not come close to the amount of capital circulating in startup hubs, but the competition for it would be less. If you manage to build up good traction, it is possible to find funding locally, which in turn would help you get high-quality talent.

The three aspects mentioned above form a positive feedback loop. The easiest way to take advantage of this is to be part of a thriving startup ecosystem, but if that’s not an option, you can try using the power of online connection and remote working to compensate and put yourself in a similar position. position.

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