What are Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and why we do what we do? This video gives a brief description of the ECatalyst process. (6:36)
When ECatalyst starts "building" an ecosystem (see "What is an Ecosystem?"), we are doing two things:
We think of building an ecosystem while building businesses a little like teaching a cooking class… you can’t teach without cooking something. You have to smell, taste, and enjoy what you are cooking in order to learn. But the dish you cook is not the point of the class... it will be eaten that night. The point is creating a community of cooks. In the same way, we are creating a community and network that starts businesses, but to do so we have to cook something: businesses around which the community can rally. But the point is the community, not the businesses themselves.
For business creation, we have a dynamic process that moves through five stages. The initial stage (Stage 0) is a set up stage where we are gathering the entrepreneurs and helping them clarify their business ideas. Each subsequent stage begins with an event where the entrepreneurs can show off their progress from the previous stage, and begin to work through the material for the next stage. Then, for the next two months, the entrepreneurs meet every week to progress through the steps they need to take to build their businesses.
Here is where this gets exciting. Our intention is not just to do trainings but to build a community in which entrepreneurs mentor each other, and are supported by local leadership, local resources, and local investment. To do this, the community needs to have entrepreneurs of all levels working together to build their businesses. This is why ECatalyst has created the layered approach to entrepreneurial development.
At the beginning of ecosystem development (Phase 0), while the Catalytic Leader and the core team are gathering business leaders and casting the vision of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, they are also gathering the first cohort of entrepreneurs from the community. Then, at the first event of Stage I, this cohort learns the principles that they act out every week for two months. Two months later, at the second event, we lead the first cohort through Stage II, but we also start a SECOND cohort at Stage I. Now, the entrepreneurs in the first cohort can mentor and even teach the content they just went to to the new cohort. This continues for each event after so we have 3 cohorts at the third even, and 4 cohorts for every subsequent event. (see drawing above)
This layered process has four major advantages over a single cohort process:
We are looking for multiple players in ecosystems around the world who want to help develop entrepreneurship in their communities.
For Local Ecosystems we need:
In addition, we are looking for:
If you are interested in seeing something amazing happen in your community or in a community you know of, talk to us and let us know how you would like to be involved!