Why We Help Municipalities Connect With Entrepreneurs

This post originially appeared on Startup Blvd's Blog and was written by Enrique Shadah.  It can be found here.

We love all entrepreneurs; big shots, small business owners, veterans and newbies alike. In 2007, George Mason University’s Prof. Paul D. Reynolds gathered some impressive data that made us love entrepreneurs even more. He found that in the U.S. there are around 12 million people (a.k.a. entrepreneurs) at any given point in time dedicated to launching new ventures, investing a massive amount of resources in the process:

About ten billion hours of work each year, 2 percent of the total annual hours of work for pay in the United States;

About $70 billion dollars each year, compared with $23 billion for all venture capital firm investments and $1 billion for venture capital sponsored start-ups;

Over 75 percent of these informal, personal investments are made by those that will NOT launch a viable new firm.

Although the first two statements were encouraging, the fact that 75 percent of entrepreneurs will fail (wasting resources they invested) opened our eyes to a great opportunity.

Startup Blvd’s mission is to help entrepreneurs transform this waste into valuable assets that large, mature organizations like municipalities can leverage to find new solutions to their most pressing issues. Most entrepreneurs have great ideas, but fail in the implementation. As the data by ChubbyBrain illustrates, four of the top five most frequently mentioned reasons startups fail are related to weak execution.

Our goal is that entrepreneurs use Startup Blvd to form cost-effective partnerships and business relationships with established organizations to increase their chances of success, reducing the 75 percent failure rate. From these relationships, entrepreneurs gain operational support on many fronts including sales and marketing, distribution and financing. In turn, large organizations capitalize on entrepreneurs’ fresh ideas for solving known and difficult problems.

We are putting this theory to test in our current project with City of Boston’s Office of Business Development (you read about it here). The goal of this project is to find innovative ventures that are able to help small businesses in Boston convert their social connections into sustainable in-store sales.

Entrepreneurs benefit from gaining access to the City’s 3,500+ strong neighborhood businesses plus the chance or receiving a $10,000 grant and support from the City’s PR machine. The City benefits because it can leverage its assets (some cash, and lots of connections to information about small businesses) to innovative around particular issues that affect neighborhood businesses, which are key City constituents.

By enabling the formation of a large number of such partnerships using a cost-effective social media friendly platform like Startup Blvd, we are unlocking synergies between investments in time and money entrepreneurs and large organizations make to solve real problems in society.

Enrique Shadah is an opportunity obsessed startuper, with a passion for building great things. Check out my his website here.