The Community Founder Stack – Or Why Density Is Only Part of The Equation

A few years ago, Brad Feld outlined in a blog post the notion of density as a primary factor in the maturity of a startup community. His observation was that when visiting Boston, he ended up never leaving Cambridge and that in turn meant that Cambridge was a great place to do everything startup. Though a specific ratio was never outlined, the idea is that there is a flywheel effect that comes from having a robust amount of the startup tribe (as compared with the general professional population) in a specific geographic area (building or neighborhood). Think of this as the watercooler effect for a city.  A few weeks after that post, I was meeting with Adam Klein (one of my Raleigh/Durham community leader friends) and I brought up Brad’s post and the implications for our work in trying to build our startup community.  From that meeting, Adam and I set a goal of 200+ net new entrepreneurs in our downtown location. Underlying Brad’s notion of density is the idea of what I call the Aspirational Founder Stack. I believe that every founder at whatever part of the journey they are on, derives comfort and knowledge from the founder/company that

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