Our Founding Principles

Brad Feld writes about moving from the 2012 Boulder Thesis to the 2020 Startup Community Way by expanding his original 4 principles to 14 and introducing the idea that a startup community is a complex adaptive system. These are the expanded set of principles (2012 principles are in blue).

The Startup Community Way (Feld & Hattaway 2020)

  1. Entrepreneurs must lead the startup community

  2. The leaders must have a long-term commitment

  3. Startup communities are complex adaptive systems that emerge from the interaction of the participants

  4. Startup communities can be guided and influenced, but not controlled

  5. Each startup community is unique and cannot be replicated

  6. Startup communities are organized through networks of trust, not hierarchies

  7. The startup community must be inclusive of anyone who wants to participate

  8. Openness, support, and collaboration are critical behaviors in a startup community

  1. The startup community must have continual activities that meaningfully engage the entire entrepreneurial stack

  2. Startup communities must avoid the trap of letting demand for measurement drive flawed strategies

  3. Putting founders first, giving before you get, and having an intense love of place are essential values in a startup community

  4. Startup communities are propelled by entrepreneurial success and the recycling of those resources back into the next generation

  5. The best startup communities are interconnected with other startup communities

  6. The primary purpose of a startup community is to help entrepreneurs succeed.