Beyond Collisions: How to build your entrepreneurial infrastructure

Author: Kate Hodel

In communities across America, people are trying to support entrepreneurs. They know entrepreneurs add jobs, character and vitality to a community’s economy. Beyond Collisions gets behind the meetups, the accelerators and the hackathons to provide a guide for how to support entrepreneurs – how to build the entrepreneurial infrastructure. Entrepreneurship is poised to take its place alongside attraction and retention as a key economic development strategy. In traditional economic development, there is a defined process for the attraction and retention of companies. With entrepreneurship, there’s been no infrastructure, no roadmap. In most communities, efforts to support entrepreneurs are fragmented. Beyond Collisions provides a clear, proven path to building the entrepreneurial infrastructure that can enable people to start and grow thriving companies. It’s not one program, no silver bullet. It’s a process, a strategy to identify, connect and empower entrepreneurial support resources, and then measure the results. Maria Meyers, Kate Pope Hodel and the SourceLink team have been working in Kansas City and across the country for 15 years, listening, learning and leading. They join with others, the entrepreneurs of entrepreneurship, to share hard-earned lessons about how to build the kind of inclusive, supportive network that encourages entrepreneurship. Beyond Collisions explores key questions. Section One addresses why should a community support entrepreneurship, what an entrepreneurial infrastructure looks like and who benefits. Section Two provides practical, tactical steps to identify, connect, empower and measure the entrepreneurial infrastructure. Section Three outlines strategies around marketing, funding and leadership. Sprinkled throughout are stories from the field, firsthand accounts of building networks, encouraging entrepreneurs and analyzing outcomes.