Big Community Mo

Companies that have either been through the TSF program or are going through it now are used to me dropping cliches.  Like every day.   I can’t help myself – my father is the master of cliches, riddles, advice-in-the-form-of-cute phrases.

My startup advice cliche #1 is “crawl-walk-run”.  I hope it’s meaning is obvious but for those of you struggling right now I am referring to the idea that you have to take a phased approach to your goal(s).

My work to help build a nationally-recognized tech ecosystem follows the same advice.

Crawl.  Walk.  Run.

Today the American Underground is announcing that Google has selected AU as well as Durham and the greater Triangle as 1 of 7 entrepreneur hubs across North America.  The idea is that the 100+ companies and 300 ish that make up the AU have access to key Google resources including developers, products, tools, and expertise.

Why is this important to us?

  1. One of the Top companies in the world recognize our area as worthy of their attention.  Google.  Durham.  Triangle.  Tech.  I love those words in the same sentence.  Its validation.
  2. Second – every startup needs help.  Google is a talent machine.  Even a minimal amount of interaction between a TSF startup team and a Google person can create amazing lift.  I can’t wait to watch it happen.
  3. Lastly, it’s another step in the crawl-walk-run rubric.  We are definitely out of crawl phase and building momentum in the walk phase.  National awareness and validation goes a long way towards building momentum.

So, if you have a chance to celebrate this announcement, do what you do.  Tweet, retweet, share, post, blog, comment, email, shout – I don’t care.   Just recognize that we just “put a shot across the bow”.  (Another cliche!)

I will be tweeting during the day @chrisheivly

Speaker, investor, mentor, startup founder. One of 3 or 4 Co-Founders of MapQuest (sold to AOL for $1.2B). Managing Director of $25M Venture Fund in late 90's. CEO, COO or President of various companies ranging from $200k to $20M in size. One of two Managing Directors of The Startup Factory (35 investments across 7 cohorts), founder and MC of the Big Top Reverse Job Fair and national writer and speaker waxing poetic around startups and startup communities. Currently EIR @ Techstars with Brad Feld ~ Startup Communities, to help community leaders around the world grow their startup community.

1 comments On Big Community Mo

  • Durham, North Carolina was chosen as a Google Entrepreneurial Hub. Alongside Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis, Nashville, Tenn., and Waterloo, Ontario, the Durham tech hub is expected to get financial support from the company, access to Google products, as well as workshop opportunities.

    Folks around the Triangle are chest-beating over there selection by Google as another step in establishing the Triangle as a future center for tech startups that will develop internal and attract external startups and entrepreneurs.

    While it is nice to be noticed by Google, please understand that Google’s purpose is self-serving (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.)

    Google is seeking to deepen its community ties, to give its teams and partners physical space for outreach and events, and to serve as platform for other Google teams to roll out products and products with startups, according to information from the company. The hub will also have a local relationship manager, called a “Googler,” who will serve as the primary contact for the company. Hub leaders will talk quarterly, and will meet once a year in person to share best practices.

    Google also recruits local engineering talent to take back to Mountain View – or elsewhere.

    On balance, it is a good thing to be recognized by Google.

    In July, 2013, the New York Times ran an opinion piece – “The Decline of North Carolina” –

    Read this editorial. Then reread this editorial. Then tell me why an entrepreneur would want to move to North Carolina.

    Realizing that you have enough talent or potential for innovation to have a major technology company establish an immigration office in your town is fine.

    But, thinking that North Carolina will be an entrepreneurial hub while the present climate exists, is truly delusional.

    Read the editorial. Then reread it.

    Then realize what must be done to make the Triangle attractive to entrepreneurs . . . and others.

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