The Problem we’re addressing:

Startup communities and their efforts frequently become siloed due to a lack of resources and structure.  With no one looking at the ecosystem as a whole, it becomes difficult for both aspiring and established entrepreneurs to find the resources and support they need, when they need it to develop further.

What it is:

The Startup Foundation is an evolution of Startup Weekend. With over 35,000 past attendees in over 183 cities around the world, we acquired a unique insight into the creation, formation, and best practices of ecosystems.

In July of 2011, Startup Weekend and The Kauffman Foundation partnered to launch the Startup Foundation in 8 cities as an initial test: Los Angeles, Seattle, New York City, Detroit, Boston, Des Moines, Las Vegas, and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

What we’re actually doing:

The Startup Foundation leaders in each of the cities will be interviewing community influencers and leaders to help create an initial ecosystem audit across all cities resulting in a dynamic ecosystem map. This valuable perspective will highlight the opportunities and best practices of entrepreneurs and communities. The Foundation leaders will then work to prioritize local initiatives and allow the community to determine the optimal way to distribute capital and other available resources. Foundation Leaders are armed with an operating and funding budget with the responsibility of facilitating the vision and successful implementation of chosen initiatives.

Building upon the successful learning’s of the initial 8 cities, the Startup Foundation will open the program up to any qualified community leaders around the world. Unifying and learning from the conversations across the globe will increase awareness as well as the ability for us all to have a greater impact on the fundamental culture and infrastructure that exists to catalyze more successful entrepreneurs and startups.


1. We represent the community
2. We are 100% neutral. This is a community owned initiative
3. We complement and amplify those already doing amazing things
4. We identify opportunities, and we don’t duplicate existing efforts
5. Entrepreneurship is an art, not a science
6. In order to support and understand startups, you must work “bottom-up”
7. Communities need to encourage sustainable infrastructure
8. Best practices will be shared from city to city
9. Resulting efforts and research will be open and available to the world

Our Goals:

1. ACTION – We don’t just talk about problems, we work with the community to create and implement solutions.

3. Research – There is little research in the world today about companies BEFORE they get funded. We’re providing a unique insight into what matters in the early stages of team and idea formation.

2. Sustainability – Startup Foundation needs to achieve sustainability in every city. We will be actively fundraising to continue growing this initiative.

What we’re Tracking:

• Job Creation
• The barriers/challenges entrepreneurs face
• Size and growth of the ecosystem
• Comparative analysis between communities
• Mentor engagement

Board Of Directors:

Startup Foundation named its board of directors consisting of these entrepreneurship leaders: Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation; Steve Blank, serial entrepreneur and author; entrepreneurship lecturer at U.C. Berkeley and Stanford University; Greg Gottesman, managing director at Madrona Venture Group; Brad Feld, co-founder of TechStars and managing director of the Foundry Group; Laura McKnight, president and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation; and Nick Seguin, manager of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation.

**Startup Foundation is a project currently incubated inside of Startup Weekend.