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