As Boulder Startup Week 2014 wrapped, Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group, reflected on the power of startup communities today. He published The Largest Startup Community In The World on his website.
“When I wrote Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City, I made some assertions about how to build startup communities and what the impact of them would be on society,” he wrote in the post. “As I sit here at the end of a week pondering everything that is going on in the world around startup communities, I believe I have vastly underestimated their potential impact. And this makes me feel very happy.”
“This reflection led me to think about how to wire up the largest startup community in the world. Geography is one boundary, but the Internet allows us to create a global startup community that is a network of startup communities. UP Global, which I’m on the board of, is doing just that,” he continued. “You might know UP Global by the names of the two organizations that combined to form it – Startup Weekend and Startup America Partnership. This combination happened about a year ago and the progress in the last year has been remarkable.”
Brad Feld encourages entrepreneurs and startups to take a look at the UP Global 2013 Impact Report. “It’s 28 slides and when I looked at it early today it blew my mind,” he wrote.
He outlined a few key metrics:
- 310,000 alumni and volunteers
- 4,500 mentors
- 132,000 businesses
- 87,000 developers
- 39,000 designers
- 501 cities
- 126 countries
“Go look at the UP Global 2013 Impact Report. It’s insanely wonderful how many people and startup communities this organization has touched,” he wrote. “The network is getting incredibly strong and powerful. I believe that networks are now more important in our society than hierarchies. Sure – we’ll have hierarchies forever, but I’m going to spend as much of my time as possible in the network. And for everyone who is part of the network of people engaging in startup communities, thanks for all your efforts on this mission!”
About Brad Feld: Brad has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur since 1987. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures. Brad is also a co-founder of Techstars. In addition to his investing efforts, Brad has been active with several non-profit organizations and currently is chair of theNational Center for Women & Information Technology, co-chair of Startup Colorado, and on the board of UP Global. Brad is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of venture capital investing and entrepreneurship and writes the widely read blogs Feld Thoughts, Startup Revolution, and Ask the VC. Brad holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Brad is also an avid art collector and long-distance runner. He has completed 23 marathons as part of his mission to finish a marathon in each of the 50 states.