If the focus of stability in a community is economic growth, why is a strong entrepreneurial network so important? This is a question that we at the Venture Center have been thinking about recently. Of course, we believe that a strong startup community is vital to the growth of Little Rock, Central Arkansas and even the region, but what makes this such an important issue.
Scalable, Investible Ventures Drive Expansion
It all comes down to growth. Every sector of the community expands or contracts based on the health of the entrepreneurial community. This includes small businesses--such as a mom-and-pop type venture. It also includes the broader startup community which includes ventures which are scalable and investible.
Here at the Venture Center we focus on scalable, repeatable startups because we believe that they have the greatest potential to dramatically increase the quality of life here in Little Rock. But there is another component that a thriving startup community brings to Little Rock.
Scalable, Investible Ventures Drive Human Resource Retention and Attract Capital
Talent and capital are two important factors which every successful entrepreneurial business needs to grow.
Talent and capital are drained away from a community when the growth of the community has not reached a critical mass which causes them to stay. Picture talent and capital like masses floating in space. They will float around aimlessly or will be drawn into the orbit of another larger mass.
Until the local community has achieved the critical mass to draw talent and capital into "orbit," they will be drawn away by the pull of a stronger mass.
Building a strong network of scalable, investible business ventures creates density in the community, which helps retain human and financial capital.
Little Rock is Uniquely Positioned for Success
Little Rock lies at the center of the country. Arkansas is rich with smart, innovative and creative people. As we continue to work toward "critical mass," we begin to retain larger and larger numbers of talented people.
As we build stronger and stronger systems of entrepreneurial support which reduce risk and increase potential upside for investors, we draw more and more investor capital into our community.
This raises the tide for all ships--private and public. This is a mission that we can all engage and which will build a brighter future for us, our families and our great City.