Over the past year, I have written over 30 posts regarding startup communities and entrepreneurial ecosystems. These posts are little windows into my experiences and observations having consulted with or at least had discussions with more than 100 city leaders from all over the world. Today, I sat back and tried to find a super simple point-of-view to share that might provide you a thought to carry around for a few days. The word that stood out was courage.

Courage in a startup community is required because this is a community and getting people aligned, in agreement, to work together, to argue with each other, to fight to raise funds, to put up events, to take time out of your schedule to meet some new bambi founder who is full of passion but still learning how to walk. It is not a company where you are tasked to do something, you have to raise your hand.

Are you a courageous leader?

  • This startup world is full of uncertainty.
  • This startup world has a lot more questions than answers.
  • This startup world involves some serious money.
  • This startup world requires one to embrace change and adaptability.
  • This startup world is founded in persistence and resilience.
  • The startup world is full of personalities that are widely varied and rooted in opposite mindsets.
  • The startup world – and your local community – take years of effort and short term wins are hard to come by.

With all of these variables, ingredients, and personalities to factor – how does one ever create impact?


  • Courage to take risks.
  • Courage to stay the course.
  • Courage to collaborate with peers who “don’t get it”.
  • Courage to continue to learn and gather feedback.
  • Courage to hold fast to your ethics.
  • Courage to make decisions without confidence of the outcomes of those decisions.
  • Courage to stand up to the bad actor/bully in your city.
  • Courage to change your mindset.
  • Courage to consistently sign up for the good of the community before your own needs.
  • Courage to work without being paid.
  • Courage to chart a vision that only you can see.

Courage is defined as the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. It involves the ability to face and overcome fears, challenges, and uncertainties, often requiring individuals to step out of their comfort zones or endure hardships in pursuit of a noble or meaningful goal.

A growing startup community is constantly undergoing change. Change takes courage.

Courage means raising your hand and helping to make that change.