Creating breakthrough solutions: Behind ecosystem communities - part 1

In a world that changes so quickly, with so many new opportunities as well as challenges, people around the world are gathering to collaborate, support, and create innovative solutions. Or, in other words: these people are part of ecosystem communities.

Wait, what does ecosystem mean?

Ecosystem is a term taken from nature, which means an ecological system. This system is composed of the various creatures living in a specific geographic environment and their interactions, as well as its physical components such as water and air. Each ecological system has interaction between its creatures. In nature, for example, we’re talking about the plants who nurture the herbivores, and the herbivores that act as a food source for the predators. Solar energy helps plants grow, water affects all creatures, and so on. Each component and creature has a role in the system: little, if anything should be wasted. That’s why the different components assist each other and ensure that the whole system thrives.

Ecological system
In an ecological ecosystem, the different components contribute to the success of the whole system | Photo: Mystic Art Design

So what is an ecosystem community?

An ecosystem community is a community with the goal to promote a field or a collaborative creation. Its members are all the people who are engaged in the same field or interested in promoting collaborative creation. There’s a synergy between them and each component in the community is important for the thriving of the other.

For example, an ecosystem around entrepreneurship is aimed at connecting all the players that deal with promoting entrepreneurship in a specific geographic location, encouraging the creation of new ventures. The entrepreneurs won’t be the only members of such a community. Members might also be venture capital representatives and investors, research institutions, vendors who provide services to the ventures such as consultants, lawyers, and designers, governmental organizations, global companies, and so on. All of them are supporting the entrepreneurial process during its way to success.

By the way, the term “entrepreneurial ecosystem” was coined by Daniel Isenberg, an American professor for entrepreneurship. Just as a live creature in a natural ecological ecosystem needs suitable conditions to survive and ensure its species’ continuation, beginner entrepreneurs also need an environment that supports them and provides them access to financial, professional, and human resources.

An ecosystem community supports entrepreneurs while they build their future solutions | Photo: Viktor Krč

What does an ecosystem community look like?

One of the successful examples for an ecosystem community is Startup Grind, which began in their founders offices in Silicon Valley in 2010. The goal was to help entrepreneurs overcome the multiple difficulties raised in the process of launching a company.

The community offered monthly events where startups could learn from speakers, meet investors, and get exposed to networking opportunities. It grew very fast and more branches were open in Los Angeles and New York. Today, it is considered the largest ecosystem in the world, with more than 600 branches in 125 countries across the world. Monthly events still take place, as well as global annual summits, designed programs for investors and students, benefits for members, and more. In the 2022 global summit, for example, 82 startups presented pitches and met 208 investors.

Another example is the Enterprise Nation community, which supports small business owners in Britain. Community members are also various consultants and partners from the public and private sectors, which provide resources such as funding or tools to help the businesses to launch and grow. More than 70,000 businesses are members, and among the partners are Amazon (which launched a tailor-made accelerator), Facebook, TSB Bank, the University of Brighton, and others.

Want to learn more about the community industry terms?

Read the community’s vocabulary guide

How does an ecosystem community tackle global challenges?

Another example is a community that promotes a specific field, such as an ecosystem community that deals with climate change. Its goals are to create solutions for climate change’s challenges. Members of such a community might be the Ministry of Energy representatives, researchers from the field, investors, and of course, companies and startups that have solutions, develop new ones, or adjust existing solutions.

EIT Climate-KIC is an innovation community that was founded by the European Union to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. They promote co-creation of innovative solutions. The community members are from diverse backgrounds: universities and research institutions, businesses, cities, and NGOs. Each one of them contributes its knowledge, expertise, and professional experience. Among the community’s initiatives are an investment program with a unique model based upon open innovation, another program that offers information services from satellites’ data, and partnerships to knowledge-exchange between EU countries.


In the first part of this blog post on ecosystem communities, we learned what they are all about and covered some examples. In the next part, you’ll find the recipe for a successful ecosystem community plus a personal example of a community that I created from scratch. I’ll also give you some ideas for what you can use for your own community, even if it’s in a totally different field.

Would you like to explore more opportunities together? Let’s talk.



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