Entrepreneurship Talent + Opportunity : The Unmet Promise

The TiE Boston Software SIG had a unique networking event last night at a restaurant, with ‘family-style’ appetizers. No hot chai, though.

One engaging topic of conversation (amongst a few of us) was about making the startup market more efficient and effective …  more so around matching talent and opportunity. The Boston region has over 140 organizations catering to startup needs and interests. Yes, that is over 140! I did a market and product analysis involving 14 organizations, and found that most of them tend to overlap in terms of services and promised value-add.

There barely seems to be a month when there is not another startup-facilitation organization brewing.

Yet, you have what essentially is a market with a finite number of players that in the startup ecosystem at any given time. There is bound to be a point in time when we hit the problem of plenty.

So, instead of starting yet another startup oriented group or networking event … how about these 3 ‘obvious ideas’? (everything is obvious … after the fact) …

1) Find a way to identify Top 3 current pain-points and needs within existing funded ventures … and publish those ‘open source’ to invite other ventures / entrepreneurs / people that might have an interest and ability to address those needs. A healthy partnership and alliance strategy can go a longer way in creating synergies than more networking meets and events.

2) Find a way to socialize Top 3 goals and gaps within existing growth companies with over $10M revenue … and offer early stage ventures an opportunity to bid for real business with the potential to generate real revenue. A real customer with a real need met leading to revenue is more valuable than more idea-meets and products being developed without market validation.

3) Make a promise to ourselves that we wont just “talk the endless entrepreneurship talk” with a hue of ideas and promises, hoping to randomly find someone in networking events that could somehow, somewhere, someday add value. Believe me, I believe in the power of networking and mutual value add … yet, there is bound to be a point where you hit the problem of plenty.

This is really about finding focus … what do you think?




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