A couple of years ago, I met with the president of Blue Orb, Pete McAlindon in Orlando, and he introduced me to Jeff and Rich Sloan, who had launched StartupNation. Over coffee, we talked about the need for “community” for entrepreneurs. We talked about how lonely it is running your own shop and how you need to have people to talk to about your problems. When I owned my companies, there were a group of us who used to go out for dinner and beer at tradeshows, and talk about our problems. We weren’t competitors, so we felt that we could talk and share, and in the process we learned from each other.
I bring this up because of an article on entrepreneurial community in the NY Times written by Don Steinberg. The article, A Network for Small Businesses and Start-Ups, provides some interesting food for thought. The article talks about bloblive, which as the article mentions are events trying to create a community where entrepreneurs can feel free to share ideas and concerns and get feedback and maybe even some advice or a connection. Think of it as idea networking for the entrepreneur.
While it’s possible that the owner of the program, the Advanta Corporation (yes, that Advanta Corporation which is in a world of hurt these days thanks to their credit card business) isn’t the best one to launch what they are calling ideablob’s, perhaps colleges and universities through Centers for Entrepreneurship are better served to fill the need the Advanta has identified. But hats off to Advanta for taking the first step and reaching out to our community through these forums.