With the proliferation of resources available to entrepreneurs, there is a growing need for better diagnostic tools to identify gaps within any given ecosystem so that they can be addressed without undermining its strengths – as well as for more effective methods to assess the impact of any particular intervention. The session reviewed innovative ecosystem mapping efforts already underway and discuss new approaches for measuring the efficacy of startup ecosystems.
Methodologies Used to Map Ecosystems
Speaker: Arnobio Morelix
Entrepreneurship is more than designing a business model, managing, or making a business grow economically. The Kauffman Foundation has taken initiatives to measure the impact of the entrepreneurial ecosystems in a variety of areas. This session overviewed the various methodologies used to "map" ecosystems, including identifying key players and institutions that support and advance entrepreneurs, startups, and new firm formation.
The model Morelix shared from the Kauffman Foundation has two objectives: first, to create local scalable and relevant economic indicators for each of the types of enterprises; second, create indicators that measure the general market conditions (density, fluidity, connectivity and diversity).
The representation of these variables is done through maps showing the number of startups, what is the impact of the startups on the economy, and how this varies from city to city. Morelix said this tool besides being useful for better understanding the overall entrepreneurial ecosystem, it is also a recipe for creating many more ecosystems. Finally, the speaker emphasized that these methodological constructions are possible if you really believe in the value they can have from governments and private enterprise to citizenship.
Speaker: Zoltan Acs
The GEDI Institute uses data components to analyze ecosystem elements as a way to measure the health and visibility of entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world.
Zoltan Acs, or the GEDI Institute, referenced the problems found in places like Latin America and Africa to fully develop activities related to entrepreneurship and how to grow entrepreneurship. One of the first difficulties in Latim America, including Colombia, is imported technology -- the technology is not being created or is being made elsewhere. Another topic Acs referenced is that education is a negative indicator because there is a widespread poor quality of education and this limits the means to progress and innovate.
Zoltan said the platform to measure ecosystem is a tool for analyzing city to city and country to country, because the model works with a comparative system in which the failures and successes of each case is observed equally. The system looks at the gaps between the two compared, and identifies specific issues that need to be improved locally and worldwide.
The GEDI Institute uses a variety of indexes to create best practices and methodologies for building a comprehensive and robust tool for capturing ecosystem dynamics.
Deep-Dive in Mapping Cities
Speaker: Rhett Morris
Rhett Morris and Victor Mulas from Endeavor Insight, as well as, Malavika Kumaran with MaRs, also discussed tools to map entrepreneurial ecosystems, which serves as a comparative system between countries and cities. To start this process, 36 entrepreneurial initiatives in Canada were chosen for study, and how those compared had cooperation, networking and collaboration between them.
The tool has a basic function to track investors, small institutions, innovation ecosystem processes and academic institutions, to identify key individuals and organizations in investment for ecosystems. To be more precise, the tool notes who invested, how much was invested and who participated. The goal of the tool is to map 130 cities around the world in the next five years, said Malavika Kumaran.
Several indexes in the ecosystem mapping tool include human capital, infrasturcture, economic assets, networking assets and startup incubators. Rhett Morris added that it is important that successful companies serve as "angel" investments, with also university commitments to support these initiatives. Victor Mulas meanwhile says that these ecosystems are often replicated unconsciously and have great importance in the economic development of each country.