The High Tech Ecosystem Need 3 Major Support Functions

I wanted to thank Gable Costello for providing great feedback to my post on September 21, 2014 "4 Critical Components of a High Tech Ecosystem". This post is to capture his points about other support functions within the high tech ecosystem.

The High Tech Ecosystem must be support by 3 critical functions within the community:

  1. Capital investments - Angel investors, Venture Capital (VC), and Incubator/Accelerator funds.
  2. Universities
  3. Legal Services 

Capital Investment - Startups are funded in multiple different ways. Of course most early startups are boot strapped by their own funds or essentially working for themselves and/or maybe family and friends. However, a strong High Tech ecosystem attracts funding sources, and is a critical part of the growth curve of any potential exiting startup. The challenge is the "Chicken and the egg" situation, where a growing ecosystem does not have a large traction for VC's to be continuously piped into the community for potential Series A opportunities. It is critical to established local core resources with VC networks, and get them embedded into the community, where their efforts will keep VC's in the loop. The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem will build a hub that connects Angel investors and other lower seed funding sources. As Gable pointed out, once your community starts to exist companies, these founders become a big part of the Angle investor network. 

Universities - All vibrant High Tech Ecosystems have great Universities within their community. Universities play a huge role within the community. They develop new resources, provide continuous education, delivers research to the community and provides intellectual stimulus within the community. However, the top High Tech Ecosystems understands how to better utilize the Universities by embedding them into the core components within the ecosystem. For example Universities that have an entrepreneurial program will have small incubators that teach students how to build businesses. Another example, they reach out to businesses to provide unique programs that teach their resources how to work like an entrepreneur. Universities who are entrepreneurial in their operations add a great bonus to the high tech community.

Legal Services - The last critical support function are the legal services that support businesses and startups. IP protection education and services are essential for the high tech community. Therefore, these legal offices have a very technology driven focus, where they must have engineering mindsets within their firms. As Gable also pointed out you will need these legal firms to provide service to facilitate funding and incorporate companies. There are a lot of little legal "to-do's" for startups to learn about!

There are other support functions needed, and I would lover to hear from you what you feel should be added to this section?

Keith R. Szewczyk

Global High Tech Executive, GM, Entrepreneurial Leader – Strategic Vision, Process Improvement, P&L, PLM, Sales Growth

The Top 6 Key Objectives for a Technology Ecosystem

Technologist, engineers and engineering leaders need a community that provides networking, business connections, training and events to grow their core competencies. A High Tech community needs a Technology Ecosystem to connect and grow core resources. The top objectives for a Technology Ecosystem to be successful are as follows:

  1. Promote the high tech community locally, nationally and globally.
  2. Help tech businesses and resource network and connect.
  3. Educate the high tech community through training and organized events.
  4. Be the hub for high tech resource placement.
  5. Government relations...educate the individual, the business and the government about issues and regulations.
  6. Create the channels for the Industry and Entrepreneurial ecosystems to connect.

Tech Councils and Innovation Councils are non-profit entities who build advisory boards made up of key local leaders within the high tech community. These councils are a critical component to the High Tech Ecosystem and the success of the communities economy. Large industry leading companies locate their operations within high tech communities that are prospering. Therefore, the role of these councils are to provide the outreach and communication channels to help brand and connect the community. Highly skilled technology resources and leaders need a vibrant technology ecosystem to network, learn about the opportunities within the community, and grow through education and events. 

The number one focus of the Technology Ecosystem is to promote the community in order to attract top talent. It is important that it becomes the hub for placement of high tech resources, where it connects University grads, engineering and leadership talents locally/nationally/globally to the businesses within the community through job awareness. Organized training events and networking events allows a way for the community's top talent to learn about the high tech community and a way for attracting other top talents form other communities. 

As we continue to explore the innovation ecosystems within this blog, it is important to know that a TrepExec recognizes that branding and connecting of resources help to generate creative thinking within the community. What areas of a high tech Technology Ecosystem are important to you?

Keith R. Szewczyk

Global High Tech Executive, GM, Entrepreneurial Leader – Strategic Vision, Process Improvement, P&L, PLM, Sales Growth

11 Major Benefits of an Entrepreneur Ecosystem

Perhaps one of the single most important component of a High Tech community is a healthy growing entrepreneur ecosystem. As companies trend towards the entrepreneurial focus of executing, this trend indicates a need for a community to grow Trepy's to feed the ecosystem. Here are 11 major benefits of a growing entrepreneur ecosystem:

  1. Provides a trustworthy social environment for Trepy's to hang out and brainstorm ideas.
  2. A strong entrepreneurial hub within your community provides strong local and global networks for Trepy's to leverage and learn from.
  3. Educates and mentors the community on how to launch startups and grow small business.
  4. Incubators and accelerators allow for technologies to grow and mature.
  5. Attracts top talents in the High Tech field to the community.
  6. Boosts the local economy through monetization of successful startup launches and exits.
  7. Generates a density of thought leaders and thinkers who have plenty of ideas to vet, which creates a knowledge factory for the community.
  8. Creates a network between academia and research to local businesses.
  9. Delivers the communication channels for the local entrepreneurial community to the businesses and global communities. 
  10. Highlights entrepreneurial role-models and generates a transparent risk taking culture, which fosters technology innovation.
  11. Provides local businesses with a way to innovate without having to change their internal culture of low risk short-term execution. 

The entrepreneur ecosystem is the foundation of the high tech innovation infrastructure within your community. It is essential that all high tech communities foster and grow this ecosystem to generate these major benefits.

As this list hits the major benefits, we would like to hear from you other benefits that we may have missed.

Keith R. Szewczyk

Global High Tech Executive, GM, Entrepreneurial Leader – Strategic Vision, Process Improvement, P&L, PLM, Sales Growth

4 Critical Components of a High Tech Ecosystem

A community’s economic growth is what enables us to innovate and deliver world-changing technology. When you think of a high tech community think of it as an ecosystem, one that strives from an environment that is stimulated with positive nutrients. You can also visualize the opposite effect if the environment is contaminated and not nourished. It is important to understand the critical components of the community’s ecosystem, where Universities, Tech Councils, Chambers and other accelerating enablers play such a huge role in the growth. Here are four major segments of our high tech communities:

Entrepreneur Ecosystem: the drivers behind a high tech community are strong Universities and a vibrant startup community as Brad Feld brilliantly explains in his book “Startup Communities”. This ecosystem fosters the bold risk takers and creates an innovation factory producing talent pools as well as incubation of technologies. The core nucleus of a growing community creates the support network for small businesses and entrepreneurs to allow them to take the big risk and create game changing technologies and businesses.

Technology Ecosystem: high tech communities must deliver a technology ecosystem, which creates networks for engineers and technical business leaders. Again, the Universities generate the entry-level talent pools and create the research environment for companies to leverage. Tech Councils play an important part of this segment, were these non-profit organizations drive the links between businesses, leaders, and technologists through generating committees and events to help drive awareness.

Industry Ecosystem: perhaps the most important segment of the community is the industries that are served through the high tech companies who operate within the ecosystem. The success of the economic development within this segment is based on the generation of small business prosperity, entrepreneurial deep roots, technology talent pools, and rich Universities involvement. The key objective of this segment is to attract Fortune 500 companies in the high tech arena and to develop home grown large-scale successful companies.

Global Ecosystem: once the three segments above are generating great output in harmony with each other, the global ecosystem starts to become tied in. A high tech community must be successful at connecting to this ecosystem for scalability of growth. Both national and global communities are part of this segment, where a strong local high tech ecosystem creates opportunity for the larger global community.

This post was to introduce the core fundamental components of growing a high tech community. This will allow us to create a platform for the TrepExec to discuss future details of each ecosystem and the way they connect to each other.

What basic fundamentals of a high tech ecosystem have we missed?

Keith R. Szewczyk

Global High Tech Executive, GM, Entrepreneurial Leader – Strategic Vision, Process Improvement, P&L, PLM, Sales Growth