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Keys to a Thriving Startup Scene From VC Veteran Brad Feld Brad Feld of the VC firm Foundry Group has funded some the biggest tech success stories of the last decade. He shares his thoughts about the state of the startup scene.

By Grant Davis

Brad Feld of Boulder, Colo., has funded some of the biggest tech success stories of the last decade, including the mobile-game juggernaut Zynga and TechStars, the groundbreaking accelerator program that has worked with more than 100 startups since 2007. This month the partner at VC firm Foundry Group releases his latest book, Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City. We spoke to him about the state of the startup scene.

What does a community need to become the next Silicon Valley?
First, the culture has to be led by entrepreneurs. Governments, universities or a big local business can't do it. Any that try will fail, since these organizations are hierarchy-driven, meaning that the people in them measure success in terms of climbing the ladder within their organization. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are network-driven. They'll work together to build something new.

Second, the people have to stay involved for at least 20 years, riding out the cycles and reinvesting in that community. This is why Silicon Valley has stayed on top for so long: One generation's success funds the next generation.

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