When you're building a startup, your success is determined by more than just your own capabilities—you need a network of resources, whether it's a crucial early hire, a key introduction, or expert feedback. The concept of connectivity is crucial because it deals with how easily and effectively resources within a community can be connected to the entrepreneurs that need them. In Embarc Collective's 2018 community survey, almost a third of founders identified improving connectivity as something the Tampa Bay region could do to support their companies' growth.
How we measure connectivity is another question entirely. An effective method has been to ask founders about how easily they have connected with people to help move their company along. Startup Genome has used founder responses to begin measuring the impact of connectivity on startup success, and their work has identified four sub-categories of connectivity (density, collisions, local relationships, and sense of community) to further refine their questions. Startup Genome did not collect this data for Tampa Bay in their 2018 report.
Some researchers have also looked towards public event information from Eventbrite in an attempt to build a measure of the frequency of entrepreneurial events within a region that can be more easily reproduced. This post examines data from meetup.com in a similar approach. We chose to use Meetup data instead of Eventbrite data because it gives us the added dimension of identifying how event attendees tie different tech communities together within a region. It also tends to be the platform of choice for tech-focused community events, although this may not be consistent across all topics and regions.
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