Startup Phenomenon Launches, Aims to Capture Essence of Startup Hubs

7/31/13Follow @MichaelXBD

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lived in Boulder since the 1990s, but his firms invest in companies around the country. That made him wonder why certain areas seemed to be better suited for startups than others, and if other cities could replicate what was going on in Silicon Valley. It seemed to him like they could, even if it wasn’t a widely shared view.

“There was this recurring theme it could only happen in Silicon Valley. I never accepted that hypothesis,” Feld said.

Feld believed in his own theory strongly enough that he wrote a book about it named, fittingly, Startup Communities. It spells out what Feld calls “The Boulder Thesis,” which brings together what he thinks are the key elements needed to build a startup community.

Feld said recent economic trends and advances in technology show entrepreneurs can do more with fewer people and less capital, which means entrepreneurs, startups, and venture capital companies don’t have to be in a single densely concentrated place. Entrepreneurs in cities all over the world can create networks and hubs that can become self-sustaining and nurture companies that once could only be launched in Silicon Valley.

Crucially, the changes are deep enough they’ll endure, Feld said.

“This phenomenon is a fundamental change in society and business and the way business works,” he said.

A similar launch event is scheduled for San Francisco on Sept. 24.

Van Heyst’s goal is to make Startup Phenomenon a vital part of the change by giving leaders the chance to talk and figure out the best ways to build communities. But while the November conference is its focal point, it will sponsor additional conferences, including an event at the University of Colorado-Boulder on Sept. 3 devoted to issues facing women entrepreneurs.

That event is open to the general public. The Startup Phenomenon Conference is by invitation only, but people interested in participating can ask for an invite at the conference’s website.

Michael Davidson is the editor of Xconomy Boulder/Denver. He covers startups, venture capital, clean tech, energy, aerospace, telecoms, and whatever else happens above 5,280 feet. Contact him at mdavidson@xconomy.com. Follow @MichaelXBD

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