Seth Levine on Resilient Startup Ecosystems

Seth Levine on Resilient Startup Ecosystems

The startup community is a global one. And in this crisis we saw this very spirit of a united startup community resonate across the globe which makes us hopeful about the future. One strong proponent of a global tech movement is Seth Levine, co-founder of Brad Feld at the Foundry Group.

We invited Seth Levine to join our speaker series, which is part of the DEEPSEA Ecosystem Builder Conference. Seth started the Foundry Group together with Techstars Founder Brad Feld. They knew each other from Brad’s previous fund Mobius Ventures and are investing in technology companies throughout the US and Canada.

Seth elaborated how the success of Boulder as a vibrant startup ecosystem started. It is all about a group of trustful people, who were driven to support entrepreneurs and not take advantage of them. This mission was declared publicly that the current system is broken and that this group will change the game. And talked the talk and walked the walk. We assume this group that Seth was referring to were the founders of the legendary Founrdy Group.

This first step in the Boulder success story actually relates to the Rainforest concept for startup ecosystem by Victor Hwang. He calls it the “keystone”. We call it “ecosystem leaders”. Ecosystem leaders are the first part of DEEPSEA’s MVSE – “Minimum Viable Startup Ecosystem”.

Going through questions and discussing the current COVID19 related issues, two aspects were important. First, for startups COVID19 mean that they have to focus now the company fundamentals, profitability and capital efficiency. The opportunity here is “to focus in”. Second, for startup ecosystem COVID19 means new opportunities for maturing ecosystems. Even if there are not accelerators in your ecosystem that have the side effect of aggregating talents quickly around a location, introduction of decentralized programs might gradually attract talent around a purpose.

The positive side of COVID19 is that people have become more empathetic and build with each other a deeper human connection. Many thanks to Seth for sharing his experience with us. That’s the spirit of “Give First!”

If you want to learn more about Seth visit his blog and the new book here: https://www.sethlevine.com/