Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures has a super post up today titled Building The Ecosystem in which he gives a very specific example about what two of his colleagues at USV are doing in New York to solve a specific issue that USV has while helping build the startup community.
“The Problem: The idea to teach this class came out of Gary’s observation that almost all of our portfolio companies are suffering from a dearth of talent in interaction design and that we needed to do something to help produce more talent in this area. Gary and Christina didn’t ask for permission to teach this class from anyone in our firm. They just did it. Freedom to innovate in action. I love it.”
“The Solution: This was part of a three hour class that Gary and Christina teach master students at the School Of Visual Arts (SVA) here in NYC. The class is a requirement for the Interaction Design major and it is called Entrepreneurial Design. Gary blogged about the class here and Christina blogged about it too.”
The Impact: Gary and Christina are getting masters students at the School of Visual Arts exposed to entrepreneurship while they are students. At the same time, they are building relationships with up and coming designers who they can connect with their portfolio companies. While New York is huge, they are creating a very dense community, centered around the USV event space in the middle of Union Square (one of the highly concentrated startup communities in New York City), that involves a set of people who previously would struggle to find each other.
This model can be replicated everywhere.