Cities shouldn’t try to imitate Silicon Valley to support startups. “They should be the best version of themselves,” writes Ross Baird, founder of Village Capital.
Village Capital has dissected 26 local startup accelerator programs that adopted VilCap’s peer-review model to understand “what works in entrepreneur support.”
Colorado, for example, is home to four of the top 10 entrepreneurship hubs in the country because each community embraces its own strengths and unique qualities.
The study, conducted in partnership with the DOEN, Kauffman and Sorenson Impact foundations, found accelerators with programs were more likely to succeed when they focused on local sectors like agriculture or water.
All of the programs VilCap reviewed needed philanthropic support to stay afloat. Foundations, policymakers and the support programs themselves, Baird said, need to recognize that “entrepreneur support organizations are infrastructure, not businesses.”
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