An April report from Kauffman Foundation on Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Momentum and Maturity explores coworking spaces, research parks and efforts by regional economic development groups to seed business startups and growth. If you are thinking of starting a company, these amenities can be a critical factor for choosing a location.
While not every area has a research university, most do have organizations that help entrepreneurs find eachother — creating a group of like-minded people for sparking ideas, brainstorming, and vetting concepts.
These groups are invaluable for finding:
- Whether your concept can take root in your area, or ifyou’ll probably have to move to a startup hotspot that offers the capital, talent and business partners you’ll need
- Potential business partners – suppliers, vendors, and talent. You never know what’s in your own area until you meet others in person and network. For example, a large employer in your area might have a little-publicized program for working with startups.
- Scouting the economic development infrastructure, especially if your business will be located locally and serving the public, as with a store or restaurant. It’s easy to underestimate the number and complexity of zoning laws, health code and building requirements. Learn from the experience of oOher business owners and find out who to best work with for the projects.
Find others with business models like yours so you can learn what works and what doesn’t. For example, the Kauffman report mentions Artist INC., a program starting to take root in Texas and other southwest and Midwest cities.
ArtistInc equips artists with business skills so they can develop business plans that sustain their artistic visions and their financial goals.
If you are interested in starting a business, consider researching entrepreneurial culture and ecosystem. Locating in a neighborhood or town that backs up its enthusiasm for economic development with culture, programs and genuine networking can set you up for success once you’re settled in.