Startup Communities, The Creative Class and Accelerators

Thanks to our monthly Managing Directors’ call, we recently had the chance to spend an hour with Brad Feld and Richard Florida to talk about startup and creative communities and where accelerators can play a part in both.

I wanted to share five of my favorite takeaways from the conversation, applicable to startups, accelerators or just about anyone looking to improve, build or strengthen their creative community.

1. If you want to create a thriving community, you need to create opportunities for people to work together.

2. Having a central, physical location for creative, innovative people to gather is key. Yes, an accelerator qualifies- so do common kitchens, shared art spaces, and other collaborative spaces.

3. No startup community sprang up over night. Not even Silicon Valley. If you’re looking to build your community, it’s in your best interest to have a ten-year view.

4. Where the creatives go, the geeks will follow. Research has proven that entrepreneurs migrate to communities that are progressive and support the arts.

5. Want to build a great community? Know your strengths. Don’t try to be the next (Silicon Valley, New York, Boulder,…), be you.

Brad Feld is the Managing Director at Foundry Group, the most entrepreneur friendly venture capital group in the US, as well as co-founder of TechStars and author of multiple books on startups, venture capital, startup communities, and relationships.

Richard Florida is the Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Global Research Professor at NYU and the founder of the Creative Class Group. Richard is widely known for his influential bestseller, The Rise of the Creative Class.

Photo Credit: Derek Keats under Creative Commons License.