How to Build a Strong Startup Community

Diverse group of businesswomen smiling.

Startup communities are a vital part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. They provide support, resources, and opportunities for startup businesses to grow and succeed. If you’re a startup, it’s important to create or join a community that can help you reach your goals. 

In this article, we’ll teach you how to build a strong startup community and discuss the benefits of having one. We’ll also provide tips on where to find startup communities online and in your local area.

Building a Startup Community

What Is a Startup Community?

A startup community is a group of people who work together to support and promote startup businesses. These communities can be found online or in your local area, and they offer a variety of resources and opportunities for startup businesses.

The community provides a way for burgeoning businesses to find success by accumulating crucial information on operations, financing, management, HR, and more. 

It does not guarantee success, but for those who already have experience, it may be the help they need to get through the first few years of business.

A Startup Community Is Made Up Of…

You can funnel the majority of people who make up the startup ecosystem into four major categories; founders or co-founders, investors, service providers, and mentors. 

  • Startup founders, or co-founders, are the people who started the business. They are responsible for everything from product development to marketing and sales. 
  • Investors are individuals or organizations that provide financial backing to a startup in exchange for equity in the company. Investors can be single individuals, or they can involve entire organizations dedicated to startups like accelerators or incubators.
  • Service providers are businesses or professionals that offer services to startups such as legal advice, accounting help, web design, and more. 
  • Mentors are experienced individuals who offer guidance and support to startup businesses. They can be from any of the aforementioned categories but should have previous success in their field.

Why Are Startup Communities Important?

The reason startup communities exist is that the road to success can be difficult, and according to the National Business Capital and Services, 21% of small businesses fail in their first year, 30% in the second year, and 50% in the fifth year. 

To counteract these dismal success rates, startup communities provide the resources and support needed to give businesses a fighting chance. 

The community also offers opportunities for networking which can lead to partnerships, joint ventures, or simply advice from someone who’s “been there and done that.” 

Being a part of a startup community will also help you stay up to date on the latest trends and technologies in the industry. Tech moves incredibly fast, so ensuring that you don’t fall behind on tools that could help reduce expenses or labor is imperative for startups.

How to Build a Startup Community

Depending on where you are in the world or the specific industry you may be in, there may not be an existing community for you to join. If this is the case, then you have two options: Build one from scratch or move to an area that already has a thriving startup culture. 

The first step in building a community is finding like-minded individuals who are interested in working together to support startups in your area. You can find these people by looking online or attending local events that focus on startups. 

Once you have a core group of people, the next step is to create an organization or club that will act as the backbone for your community. This can be something as simple as a Facebook group or Meetup page.

Organizing a one-off meeting can be powerful, but the true success of a startup community comes from regular events and meetups. 

By hosting monthly or weekly gatherings, you’ll be able to create a space for people to network, share resources, collaborate, and support each other. 

These events can be anything from happy hours to guest speakers or panel discussions. The important thing is that they are consistent and that people know when and where they are happening.

How to Find Startup Communities

If you’re curious about communities in your local area or online, the best way to find them is by doing a simple Google search. 

You can also look for specific types of startup communities such as women in tech, social entrepreneurs, or food and beverage startups. 

Once you have a few options, the best way to decide if a community is right for you is to attend one of their events. This will give you a firsthand look at the culture, people, and feel of the group. 

These communities could offer forums, meetups, online courses, and other resources for startup businesses. 

Joining an existing startup community will be less of an effort than starting one from scratch and would be the path of least resistance. Forming your own may take some time, but the respect and authority you would hold in the community would be much larger. 

Oftentimes, having a higher role or responsibility in the community will lead to better opportunities as people see you and your business as one with integrity and a leader in the space. 

No matter which route you choose, being involved in a startup community is an essential part of building a successful business. If you’re not already involved in one already, it could make the difference of becoming just another statistic.