The third principle of the Boulder Thesis is that the startup community must be inclusive of anyone who wants to participate in it. Today, diversity and inclusion are front and center in many discussions around entrepreneurship and our society—a development that is long overdue. Gender and racial diversity are dominant themes, and phrases like “diversity of thought” are often used as political dog whistles or an effort to undermine gender and racial diversity. However, when I wrote Startup Communities, I was thinking about diversity both specifically (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity, and age) and generally (e.g., experience, education, socioeconomic, and perspective). To a degree, these are overlapping. Both are important to be mindful of and are vital to the performance of a startup community.


Complex systems, such as starting and scaling an innovation-driven startup, are best handled through teamwork. Diverse teams are more innovative and resilient to constant and inevitable change than are less diverse ones. Strong complementarities and novel combinations drive innovation ...

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