Living the Startup America Dream
This week, Startup California becomes Startup America's 24th region. People often ask me why in the world California would need to become a Startup Region. The state is already home to an amazing ecosystem for entrepreneurs. This is true - with abundant funding, a deep bench of mentors, and more meet ups than one person could possibly absorb, Californians are living the Startup Dream.
There are two main reasons (among others) that California is an ideal candidate to join the other 23 (and counting!) Startup America regions.
First, the regions represent a commitment to build stronger local startup communities everywhere. No, it's not about replacing or even replicating Silicon Valley. It's about entrepreneurs committing to their communities, digging in for the long haul, and tackling the challenges that startups face. California covers a lot of real estate, and much of it beyond the Valley, San Francisco or Los Angeles is less than ideal for fostering high growth startups. We can fix this!
Second, the regions represent the promise to connect with others from across the country, share ideas, and help startups scale regardless of where they get planted. Together, we can make every community a great place to build high growth startups; and there are many entrepreneurs in California that can play a key role in their broader statewide economy and the national startup ecosystem.
It's this philosophy that led over 120 champions from 27 states, including California, to join the Startup America Summit last week in Boulder, CO. Here's what one of the Startup California champions – Ash Kumra – had to say:
"One word that describes my experience: empowering! I met with some of the top entrepreneurs and community leaders and got a major dose of inspiration and more importantly a network of like minded thinkers who want to make our national entrepreneurial system better.
Some takeaways on building a successful state region:
Leverage your network.
Fail Fast; Learn; Launch Better!
Empower, not manage, your team.
Never forget your ultimate customer: entrepreneurs!
I look forward to updating everyone on the California state launch!"
Only when we move beyond "Silicon Valley is where you go to build high growth startups" to "the US is where you go to build high growth startups” are we living the Startup America Dream.