How should communities work with startups?

When it comes to dealing with start-up there is no clear road for them or their community.


Unless you have been there and done it, start-ups can be difficult to understand

We are in the midst of a fourth industrial revolution, driven by disruptive technological change. These technologies, such as the cloud, big data, IoT, social media, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence are all combining in extraordinary ways to create a “technology 4.0 world.”

Few revolutions unfold without upheaval, uncertainty and many new winners and losers. The impact will be felt well beyond commerce in how we communicate, interact, learn, gather news and work with prospective and new start-ups.


It is hard to recognise a start-up

Many start-ups have been conceived and born around the family kitchen table and few people know what is going on until something physically happens. Often it is a young person with a head fill of disparate ideas and a grandiose dream.

Now that’s okay, but the seriousness of the idea of starting a business is overshadowed by their frequent visits to coffee shops, late night coupled with a fixation on their smartphone and computer. When it comes to the important stuff like marketing and understanding a balance sheet their minds seem to go into neutral.

Fortunately, startups can also be a community’s future,  bringing critical innovation, problem-solving and the potential of entirely new markets and an income stream into the community.

It is becoming increasingly difficult in regional, rural and remote communities to prosper without them.

While startups have plenty of learning to do, so do many of the people in the community who could be providing them with much-needed support to ensure they survive and thrive. It should be recognised that it is the start-up who have the capacity to create new jobs in a community.  Old entrepreneurs and retired executives can play a huge role in supporting the community’s start-ups.


“The results you achieve will be in direct proportion to the effort you apply”. Denis Waitley


Too many established businesses and organisations pay only lip service to innovation and quit when it becomes too hard or risky. That’s where startups thrive, creating fresh approaches and utilising technology that older folk tend to ignore.

To ignore, or worse still to restrain a start-up’s enthusiasm and drive is to effectively put a damper on the future potential of your community.


The future is full of possibilities and opportunities

It generally takes a young mind and a start-up’s enthusiasm to come to grips with such things a cloud computing, IoT, social media, self-driving cars, robots, 3D printing, drones, inbound marketing artificial intelligence and the list goes on.

All are disruptive technologies producing gains in productivity and growth, to be sure, but also the inevitable displacement of jobs and a looming quandary for older people in the community.

The stress on the community comes from the scope and speed of these disruptive transformations and the capacity to implement timely and effective changes. In today’s dynamic world, last-generation governance and processes are a poor match for next-generation of disruptive trends.,

So if you want your community to prosper shift you focus from the government to the people who want to start new businesses.


If you want to encourage start-ups then it’s important to understand

In an era of globalisation and such technology disruption, community thinking has to move from hindsight to insight and foresight. To restore trust in the community, start today to tackle the big issues that will dominate tomorrow. What needs to be done to re-skill and retrain the community workforce and decision makers?

  • Globalisation is now impacting and disrupting every community whether they like it or not.
  • The exponential growth and pace of change are demanding young minds and innovative start-ups.
  • With disruptive innovation is not going to go away and communities will need a much bigger risk appetite.
  • Disruptive innovations know few borders and can be very intrusive and will require patience and perseverance and much trial and error.
  • The disruption of traditional technologies by interactive social media and inbound marketing platforms with an enormous capacity to scale has created virtual communities of interest that are not necessarily inclusive.
  • Governments cannot be relied upon to help your community cope.

How are the benefits of this technological change and costs of the adjustments going to be shared as workers will be made redundant by robots and global supply chains?



[read more=”Personal Experience” less=”Personal Experience”]

Personal Experience

Almost daily I see the impact of globalisation and disruptive technologies in all walks of life. In order to respond to the challenges of rebuilding growth in our communities, I believe each community must bite the bullet and focus on start-ups and innovation while facilitating adjustment to the technological changes.

There needs to be a complete change in attitudes and thinking in order to move ahead of the disruption curve and keep your community moving ahead. Your community will need to give more entrepreneurial support to start-ups, while community structures are requiring more flexibility.




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