The SmartCoast Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
What is an ecosystem?
An ecosystem -- short for “ecological system” -- is a community of all the components that interact with one another in the same local environment.
The Gulf Coast Entrepreneurial Ecosystem are interconnected businesses, institutions and individuals dedicated to promoting innovation and entrepreneurial business development along the Florida Gulf Coast through building a vibrant environment with the goal to establish entrepreneurship as the "Third-leg" of our economy in addition to tourism and our military presence.
To your right you can download PDF copies of our Pathway for Scalable Businesses (a guide to help you find our ecosystem members to help you) and a more general version that lays out our ecosystem by type & focus and our Declaration of Interdependence which we have adopted.
What are the elements of this ecosystem?
We are using concepts from the Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building Playbook and the Rise of the Rest Playbook to build upon the Northwest Florida Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Assets map created by the local Entrepreneurial Enthusiast Group (EEG) and their key partners Gulf Power and FloridaWest EDA. These playbooks identify the following elements.
Entrepreneurs who aspire to start and grow new businesses, and the people who support entrepreneurs.
Talent that can help companies grow.
People and institutions with knowledge and resources to help entrepreneurs.
Individuals and institutions that champion entrepreneurs and the ecosystem.
Onramps (or access points) to the ecosystem so that anyone and everyone can participate.
Intersections that facilitate the interaction of people, ideas and resources.
Stories that people tell about themselves and their ecosystem.
Culture that is rich in social capital—collaboration, cooperation, trust, reciprocity and a focus on the common good.
What principles are guiding the development of this ecosystem?
These principles need to be top of mind and baked into everything ecosystem builders do to enhance the elements of their ecosystems. You can download a printable version of the seven principles here.
Put entrepreneurs front and center.
Enlist collaborators. Everyone is invited.
Live the values.
Connect people bottom-up, top-down, outside-in.
Tell the community's authentic story.
Start, be patient.
You can become part of our ecosystem, just click the button below and answer a few questions. You will be added to our mailing list and optionally to our Slack channel.