ESHIP Empowers Ecosystem Builders


I just returned from three fantastic days at the second ESHIP Summit put on by the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City.  The purpose of the Summit was to convene the makers, doers, and dreamers who care about building robust entrepreneurial ecosystems in their communities.

Over the course of the conference, 600 people from around the United States and several countries worked together to build a framework to define and legitimize the role of an ecosystem builder.


What is an ecosystem builder?  Many communities, like Rochester, have all the elements to create a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem but remain disconnected.  The role of an ecosystem builder is to connect, empower, and collaborate with others to help nurture diverse and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems to serve our present and future entrepreneurs.

My most important takeaway was that we are not alone.  Communities all over this country and struggling to understand how to build lasting and connected ecosystems to support their entrepreneurs.  By creating a framework, toolkit, and connection to other ecosystem builders, we can accelerate and strengthen entrepreneurial communities across the United States.


A thriving and inclusive ecosystem is an ecosystem builder's ultimate goal, but we can never lose sight of those that we serve.  Entrepreneurs need to be at the heart of everything that we do.  

We all hold vital pieces of Rochester's entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Let's work together to assemble them into something that will ultimately help our region move forward and empower everyone who dares to dream about becoming an entrepreneur to find success.   


Bringing The Outside In


I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July.  It's a fantastic time to catch up with friends and family and enjoy the great outdoors.

Even after being back for the last week, I still can't get Seattle out of my mind.  The Amazon campus was such a great example of one company's commitment to creating a vibrant urban campus.  

There can be a lot of parallels drawn to what Amazon is doing in Seattle and what Mayo Clinic is doing here in Rochester.  At its core, both organizations are trying to achieve the same goal.  Both Amazon and Mayo want to help invest in creating a vibrate ecosystem downtown that not only creates a great place to work but a great place to live.

After visiting Seattle, I think we should challenge ourselves to think even bigger.  The Amazon Seattle Spheres (pictured above) is one way we could challenge our innovative spirit to create something truly unique.  The Spheres are a place where Amazon employees can go and tie themselves back to nature and be inspired.  

Imagine a place like this that is open to our entire community during the middle of a Minnesota winter.  We could create a place where we could work and play and reconnect with nature.  Our visitors to Rochester would also find this a great place to spend time as they visit our city.

Food for thought.

Visiting Rochester? Check out Collider Coworking

Today, Collider kicks off its “More than just a desk” series.  The series highlights the fact that becoming a member of Collider Coworking is so much more than just sitting and working at a desk.  This month, we are focused on our visitors to Rochester.  

Millions of people visit the Rochester, MN area each year for a variety of reasons.  We love our visitors to Rochester and want them to experience the best of what we have to offer.  For those that are here for work or an extended period of time, Collider is the perfect place to get work done and connect with our fantastic business community.  

Check out our newest video and make sure to let visitors to our community know that Collider is a great place to work during their stay in Rochester.


Culture THEN Place


People ask me all the time "why do you focus so much on community building?"  My usual response is "It's all about the culture THEN place.  If we don't generate real, authentic relationships with our family, workplaces or entrepreneurial ecosystems, we won't get very far. 

I believe that building culture always needs to come first in ecosystem building.  It can seem senseless to some, but I usually find that they are the products of places that have never actually invested the time and effort into creating a positive, supportive culture in the first place.

We are creating a fantastic culture right now in Collider.  A culture of individuals that gather together because we are stronger together than apart.  A culture of doers and dreamers. A culture of creative craziness on the edge of Discovery Square.  

This Friday will be our second FREE day of coworking at Collider.  It's a perfect time to experience our culture and our amazing people firsthand. 

We will see you there.