There’s a new community network emerging to help entrepreneurial ecosystem builders connect, learn, and grow—Startup Communities: The community for entrepreneurial ecosystem builders.

Startup Communities: The community for entrepreneurial ecosystem builders to connect, learn, and grow.

Launched by Brad Feld in conjunction with his new book The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, co-authored by Ian Hathaway, the online network has grown quickly to over 3,500 (as of today) members in the few short weeks since it launched in early July.

Powered by Mighty Networks, the new platform is positioned as a virtual community and global network of individuals dedicated to discussing and developing communities to foster startups and features a wide array of topics related to startup communities and ecosystem building. 

Members of the community can subscribe to a wide range of of topics to follow and contribute to, including:

  • Complex Systems (a key theme in their new book)
  • Entrepreneurial Recycling
  • Entrepreneurial Support Organizations
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Storytelling
  • Research and Data
  • Ecosystem Maps
  • Ecosystem Building
  • Accelerators
  • Startup Coaching
  • And many, many more

In addition to topics, members can also subscribe to “Circles” which are currently geographically-focused circles where members can subscribe and interact.

In addition to topics and circles, the platform also includes an events calendar and potential for seminars in the future. 

The wide array of topics reflects the broad range of interests and backgrounds of those who have joined the online community. Feld’s status as a pre-eminent thought leader in the field of startup communities, also known as ecosystem building, has attracted people enthusiastic about growing startup communities. Members reflect a broader base than those who might typically self-identify as ecosystem builders, including: entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, mentors and coaches, community builders, university employees, corporate employees, and government economic developers.

In a post he shared on July 20, Feld shared his amazement at how quickly the site has grown. “I started this as an experiment, just to see what would happen as part of the launch of the book The Startup Community Way. So far, even with all the normal platform glitches, this has far exceeded my expectations.” 

He went on to share his hopes for how the community will continue to evolve, “As we build out this community, it’s all going to be from the bottom-up using a network model, rather than the top-down using a hierarchical model. It’s messier but evolves much quicker.”

While still in its early stages of development the platform offers the potential to be fertile soil to cultivate the philosophy, discipline, and profession of growing and cultivating startup communities—entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Feld and Hathaway have both been exemplary in their engagement on the platform—posting original posts as well as engaging with and responding to posts from others in the community. Seeing the level of engagement and interaction on the site’s various channels—all around the larger theme of growing startup communities—is one of the brightest glimmers of hope I’ve seen lately in championing the cause of entrepreneurship as a legitimate economic development strategy and the best way to rebuild our economy. If you’re looking to engage with some elite thought leaders in the world of startup communities and ecosystem building, you need to join the community. Or, as they say:

“Join us if you believe startup communities and entrepreneurial ecosystems breed innovation.”