Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

What is an entrepreneurial ecosystem?

It is a community composed of various elements interacting within a geographical region, which evolve over time, in order to promote the creation of new businesses.

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.

You can find these ecosystem assets using any of the following websites.

The ecosystem builders declaration of interdependence. Click to view.

The ecosystem builders declaration of interdependence. Click to view.

In an ecosystem all the members are interdependent on each other to survive and thrive. Click on the image to the right to see the Declaration of Interdependence that we have adopted.

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.


What principles are guiding the development of this ecosystem?

Our ecosystem principles - click to view.

Our ecosystem principles - click to view.

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.

  1. Put entrepreneurs front and center.

  2. Foster conversations.

  3. Enlist collaborators. Everyone is invited.

  4. Live the values.

  5. Connect people bottom-up, top-down, outside-in.

  6. Tell the community's authentic story.

  7. Start, be patient.


What are the elements of this ecosystem?

Typical Ecosystem Gaps - click to view.

Typical Ecosystem Gaps - click to view.

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.

Click on the image to the right to see some typical ecosystem gaps that we are working to close.