Leaders of startup communities have to be entrepreneurs. Everyone else is a feeder into the startup community. Both leaders and feeders are important, but their roles are different.
While a powerful construct, this was one of my biggest mistakes in the first edition of this book, as I missed out on a third category of participants, which I now call “instigators.” We'll get to that in a moment, but let's start with the original discussion around leaders and feeders.
Leaders of a startup community must have a long‐term commitment, welcome everyone to the startup community, and help create things that engage the entire entrepreneurial stack. Over 20 years, it's likely that each entrepreneur will go through different phases in his company, have success and failure, start new companies, and work with many different people. Although many things in the entrepreneurs' lives will change, they have to stay focused on providing leadership to their startup community or else they shouldn't commit to this leadership role in the first place.
There are many different leadership roles within the startup community. Some leaders take on a specific role, like Tim Enwall, the founder of Tendril and now CEO of Misty Robotics, as one of the leaders of Colorado Startup Summer. Others have broad influence through their actual business, as David Cohen does as co‐founder, and for many years, as co‐CEO with David Brown, of Techstars. And others, like Robert ...