Concerned With The Siloed Nature Of Cleveland’s Startup Ecosystem, Flashstarts Takes Immediate Action.
Through the years Techstars has grown from the single location accelerator in Boulder Colorado, founded by the likes of Brad Feld, David Cohen and Congressman Jared Polis, to the world’s premiere organization fostering and supporting startup communities and ecosystems worldwide through acceleration, education and access to mentors, capital and resources. The current iteration of Techstars is made up of the original accelerator system, global accelerator network, the organization formerly known as Startup America, Startup Weekend, Startup Week and Up.co.
Techstars makes themselves available to help startup ecosystems wherever they can. Last week, they presented an assessment of the Cleveland startup ecosystem at a sold out event at the Cleveland City Club.
Flashstarts founder and Cleveland Startup Community Leader Charles Stack, has been a driving force for startups in the region. He, along with the Flashstarts organization, didn’t take Techstars assessment lightly.
The assessment suggested that the areas Cleveland has done well in are capital and institutional support. When it comes to culture, talent and startup density, Cleveland fared rather poorly.
Stack has been an ongoing cheerleader for Cleveland startups and part of that has been literally having their doors open to anyone in Cleveland to collaborate to boost the ecosystem, you know the tide and the boats thing (rise of the rest). Stack has also been a big supporter of not having a siloed community. Unfortunately the Techstars assessment validated his and others’ concerns that Cleveland’s startup ecosystem was too siloed.
Flashstarts went into action immediately with two new initiatives to support and promote openness, access and collaboration.
The Flashstarts’ Nomad program. We will start regularly pitching our tent in new locations. We will hold open office hours throughout NE Ohio for entrepreneurs to come for advice or to pitch their ideas. We are starting with three locations; Downtown Cleveland, Midtown Cleveland and Downtown Akron, and plan to add more shortly.
The NODE Calendar (Northeast Ohio Distributed Entrepreneur). This step is a region wide effort to provide a simple distributed calendar system so all the great events in our region are readily accessible to everyone. We are simply encouraging all groups to publish their events using industry standards. The results of which can be viewed here. To add another calendar to the NODE network or you have ideas on how to increase adoption of NODE, please let them know: NODE@flashstarts.com.
There will be a follow up workshop on May 2nd. Stack is hoping these immediate actions will start moving the ecosystem in the right direction, now, rather than waiting another 6 weeks.