I recently returned from our annual Maine vacation to find my pre-ordered copy of The Startup Community Way by Brad Feld and Ian Hathaway. This new book follows up on Feld’s excellent 2012 work Startup Communities, which I still consider to be among the best guides to entrepreneurial ecosystem building. This new work digs deeper into the real life challenges facing ecosystem builders, with a focus on sustaining this work over the long term. Key topics include performance metrics, embracing diversity, and integrating lessons learned from complexity theory in supporting local ecosystems. I’m just getting started on this book, but my early reactions are very positive. Check it out!
During my time up in Maine, I was also pleased to see the continued development of the ecosystem in Bangor, Maine’s third largest city and the business center for much of Northern Maine. Maine has many excellent business programs, including the Maine Technology Institute, the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs, Coastal Enterprises Inc., and many others. For many years, these efforts never really seemed to gain traction in Bangor. But, that appears to be changing with a new regional collaboration, UpStart Maine that engages local business networks, coworking spaces, and the University of Maine system in nearby Orono. UpStart Maine has great promise—they’re now in the process of hiring a new Ecosystem Coordinator who I’m sure will benefit from reading The Startup Community Way. I’ll be watching this work with great interest and excitement!