Once every few weeks, I’m going to take some time to reflect on my role with the Greater Omaha Chamber. I’m writing as a neutral party, a ‘Switzerland’ if you will.
In the last 8 months, I’ve learned that the Chamber’s Entrepreneurship/Innovation team plays a vital role to the community as a connector… and I’m not just saying that to justify our paychecks. It is not our role to decide where startups should office; what investors should be recommended; what professional services genuinely serve startups; what corporations should do to innovate, etc. Rather, we exist to be a neutral party to help the community move forward and that is exactly what I wanted from this opportunity. As I’ve reflected on this opportunity, I’ve realized it is rare to find a neutral party when capitalism is at the core of our economy.
Capitalists should not be afraid of competition. At a recent 1 Million Cups meeting, Matt Medlock, founder of Paysafe, said “I want as many competitors to enter my space as possible. In fact, I’ll hand them over the code so they can get started… the more competition in my space will only create more awareness for the problem Paysafe is solving”.
I immediately drew a correlation to our startup ecosystem. It is no secret that there are events, investors, schools, and professional services that are in competition with one another within the startup ecosystem. This is a GREAT thing. Competition raises awareness that our startup community exists. Our community benefits from more investors, more professional services, more training and more events. Be loud, be the best, and be positive.
In our ‘always nice’ ecosystem, honesty and positivity is better than being vague and negative. I have been thoroughly impressed with how those I’ve met have a sincere interest in the startup ecosystem.
The time is now to embrace competition and move forward. We are a community on the same team. We want to win. We are all in. Let’s do this!