David Cohen of Techstars dives in to community on episode 2 of the Fast Frontiers podcast – how being conscious about creating community in the venture capital world by building relationships not just for capital, but across the spectrum, is vital to not only surviving but thriving.
Approaching Networking Differently
At Techstars, they are a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. That is really the value—being part of that network. Co-founder, Brad Feld, further explains this phenomenon in The Startup Community Way. But the bottom line is that everything hinges on building those crucial bridges and being conscious about having relationships, not just for capital, but across the spectrum through different communities. And pretty soon, an entire ecosystem evolves.
Give First Mentality
Just like any ecosystem, it is all interconnected, and it really is about building those relationships from a holistic approach. One of the things Techstars is known for is its Give First program. Give First is one of the four core values of Techstars, as David and its co-founders all strongly believe that if you give before you get—and you do it in a non-transactional way—you end up getting more back from the network effects and the goodwill that you create.
Also of note, it isn’t cities that collaborate with each other, but people that collaborate with each other. So, it does end up being very personal. “As much as you try to put the systems in place, you need to create those personal networks as well in order to truly succeed,” David says.
Leading by example and having long-term vision
“You have to have a set of leaders. Those leaders are going to be entrepreneurs, and they have to just have conversations, and they have to lead by example… People have the best desires to help their communities succeed, to help more startups succeed, but they just don’t always know how to do it.” Regarding long-term vision, it’s all about delayed gratification. People should have a 20-year view, according to David, because “It’s not going to change overnight, it’s going to change over a long period of time.”
So as you begin thinking about your own 20-year view, listen to episode 2 of the Fast Frontiers podcast with David Cohen to learn exactly what to aim for.