Social Capital Wins over Financial and Human Capital

Entrepreneurship can spur economic growth and job creation. As a result, state and local governments are seeking ways to establish entrepreneurial ecosystems. One way to strengthen an ecosystem is to increase its social capital. Social capital is the networks of relationships among people who work in a particular field. Lack of social capital is among the top reasons that nine out of ten startups fail. Money and skills are not enough for success in entrepreneurship. Aspiring entrepreneurs als...
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Entrepreneurship for All: Washington D.C.

Washington, D.C. is known for its politicians and bureaucrats, but it's also where the top-20 U.S. government contractors are based. In recent decades, high-tech, high-growth entrepreneurship has been on the rise in the U.S. capital. Startup ventures, coupled with a diverse economy, largely fueled by the federal government, have led D.C. to emerge as a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem. History of Entrepreneurship The diversified needs of the federal government have led to a varied ecosystem. F...
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MassChallenge: Connecting Startups and Big Business

Corporations and startups are moving toward early stage interactions. MassChallenge, a highly successful nonprofit accelerator, has been connecting corporations and startups since its 2010  launch in Boston. MC has several US and international locations, which accelerated 372 startups in 2016. MC delivers positive results and has been listed among the Best Startup Accelerators by the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project, led by Baker Institute Rice faculty scholar Yael Hochberg.  There are over ...
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Mile-High Entrepreneurship

Boulder has long been considered Colorado’s startup hub, but Denver is emerging as a strong contender. Mentoring and venture capital support have helped Denver’s ecosystem expand rapidly so that it is well on its way to becoming self-sustaining. Denver has garnered a reputation as one of the best places for high-tech, high-growth ventures.The total number of tech startups located in downtown Denver has increased by 13% in the last two years; 4% above the national average in new startup growth...
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Development of Research Parks and Innovation Districts in Houston

On May 4, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner stated his support for building a data science center. The next day, he endorsed plans for an Innovation District. How would these types of development promote entrepreneurship, innovation and economic growth in Houston? The Basics What are Research Parks, like the proposed data science center, and Innovation Districts? Research Parks promote research, technological development and commercialization by creating a high density of universities and rese...
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Gateway to Entrepreneurship: St. Louis

You probably know St. Louis as the Gateway to the West, but the city is emerging as a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem. For decades, St. Louis followed the economic development model of attracting and keeping large out-of-town companies with generous tax breaks and subsidies. In the 1990's, political and business leaders became frustrated with the slow economic growth under these policies and began implementing entrepreneur-friendly policies. While the city has not abandoned tax breaks and ot...
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How to Make Texas More Startup-friendly

Over the last decade, Blake Commager (@commagere) has raised over $12 million in venture capital funding, started seven companies and sold five—including the first version of Facebook Causes and some of the most popular apps on Facebook, such as Zombies and Vampires. Born and raised in Midland, Texas, Commager graduated from Rice in 1999 and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2003. Commagere is the CEO of MediaSpike and an angel investor, advising several startups in the Bay Area. His v...
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A Tale of Untapped Potential: Cincinnati

Cincinnati is positioning itself as an entrepreneurial ecosystem.
When you think of an emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem, you probably think of Austin, Texas or Boulder, Colorado, not a moderately sized city deep in the heart of the Midwest. But Cincinnati's entrepreneurship ecosystem is positioning itself as a good place to start a high-growth, high-technology startup firm. The Fortunate 500 companies that call Cincinnati home, such as Kroger, P&G and Macy's, have been investing in their local ecosystem through a nonprofit organization. The result...
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Austin’s Venture Capital

In my previous blog post, I discussed Austin, Texas' strong history of entrepreneurship and the many resources in the ecosystem. Supportive Austin policies have resulted in the creation of the Entrepreneur Center of Austin, and resources like Capital Factory and Tech Ranch Austin have emerged. Austin's entrepreneurial ecosystem appeared to be healthy. A recent PitchBook Report discussing venture capital in Austin shows the ecosystem to not be as healthy as previously thought. In 2014, Aus...
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Keep Austin Entrepreneurial

Ranked number one for startup activity in the last two years by the Kauffman Foundation, Austin, Texas is one of the strongest emerging entrepreneurship ecosystems in the United States. Austin's history of entrepreneurship and supportive government has facilitated Austin's emergence as an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Austin's History of Entrepreneurship During the 1970s and 1980s, Austin's entrepreneurial ecosystem focused on computer and semiconductor manufacturing. Efforts by the Austin Chambe...
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