Building Startups - the Discussion Continues

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I wrote a few days ago about a blog post by Conor O’Neill suggesting a method of encouraging startups. Conor touched off quite an online discussion among various bloggers here in Ireland. Check the links below to catch up on the discussion, then I’ve got a few more thoughts to share.* Conor’s original post * My original response * Further responses from: * Joe Drumgoole * Bernie Goldbach * Damien Mulley * Alan O’Rourke * David Copithorne *

How Do We Create Startups?

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Conor O’Neill of Argolon has a great post on his blog discussing a method of jump-starting tech startup companies in Ireland. I think his ideas are right on the money, and relatively easy to put into action anywhere. The idea centers around creating a summer “hothouse” to help college students get rolling with ideas for new products. To his list of ideas, I would add just a couple of suggestions:

Social Media

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Social media is big in the tech business these days. Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn,, Flickr, and Twitter are just some of the companies at the forefront of using the web to connect us. Blogs count too. Just what is it? According to Wikipedia, “Social media describes the online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives.” Got that? Don’t worry, nobody else does either. Assemble 10 tech consultants in a room and ask for their definition and you’ll be presented with 15 different explanations.

The Arts Make Money

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The Wisconsin Arts Board has come out with a new study showing the impact the arts have on local economies. According to the report, “in 2005, Wisconsin’s non-profit arts industry generated over 15,000 full-time jobs and $61,840,000 in state and local government revenue. Cumulatively, the arts contributed $418,055,786 in total economic activity.” The Wisconsin Arts Board hopes to use the report’s findings to improve public funding for the arts in Wisconsin.

Ceifin 2006

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Shortly after we got to Ireland, we of course began haunting the local library. On my first trip there, I found a great book called Working Towards Balance that explored the changes in Irish society due to the booming economy. Reading the book, I learned that it was actually a collection of the papers presented at an annual conference in Ennis, Ireland. The conference is put on by an organization called The Ceifin Centre.

Wisconsin Community Leadership Summit 2006

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Yesterday I presented a 1-hour session at the Wisconsin Community Leadership Summit on “Tech Tools for Leaders”. You can find the complete materials for the session here.