Today #cphftw evolved. It not just got a more functional website, www.cphftw.dk, but also important basic details sorted out, as well as further commitments at creating a world-class startup ecosystem.
It all came from a meeting that was held yesterday evening, where some of the most influential entrepreneurs, VCs and business angels in Copenhagen were invited. There were long talks about how and what to do to make Copenhagen an even better startup city, and some great commitments made.
There had been plenty of preparations from different people, and interesting things where discussed and decided upon. Especially on how to keep the #cphftw initiative to be an initiative from entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs.
An open source model to community building
Martin von Haller Grønbæk is one of the people involved in looking at the legal and bureaucratic framework for the initiative. It was discussed to set up a foundation that could be the legal owner of the #cphftw flag, its domain names, mailing list etc., safeguarding it from abuse and misappropriation that are not in line with making Copenhagen the best startup city in Europe.
“A lot of open source projects have tried to do community building. Some have failed, some succeeded. We must try to learn from that.” said Martin during a presentation.
“For entrepreneurs from entrepreneur. I am an old guy, I have seen it before that when stakeholders have their own agenda, and try to takeover a community or ecosystem to serve their own exclusive interests. Then it gets problematic. We want to avoid that.”
A wide agreement was made regarding the need for some kind of structure where a foundation will be put into place. However, it was noted that it all needs to be open, transparent and by the community.
Open and inclusive
Apart from the need for a foundation a couple of, very important, details where discussed:
When it comes to deciding and moving things forward, the need for a open structure with different “coffee clubs” that can focus on different topics was presented. Examples where a “web-spark coffee club” that is responsible for deciding what is going to be on the cphftw website. Another is a “town hall coffee club”, that is responsible for organising upcoming town hall meet-ups. Community members should be able enter and exit coffee clubs in a transparent and flexible ways.
Martin talked about the idea with different small and agile groups doing stuff:
“Just like within open source projects: the people that show up, contribute and add value to the community will have the influence.”
A managing director in place
The other really important news is that there have been some initial funding made available from startups that can be used to secure money for a core team. This will consist of a managing director.
For the people gathered Jasenko Hadzic was presented as the candidate for the MD position, which was regarded as a good choice with big rounds of applauses. Jasenkos past at Nordic Startup Conference and in the community itself has already made him a key player in the eco-system.
“It is really important for me that we signal inclusion, openness and that #cphftw becomes very approachable, cause right now you have a fragmented ecosystem, where communication is ineffective and where, instead of growing vertically and aligning forces, we are growing horizontally, missing out on key synergies and knowledge sharing.” Jasenko said
The new role as MD will be a role that has huge expectations on it, but also that can bring the cumminty tighter together and grow it stronger. There were talks about building a small team as well, but details there where still not set.
Financed by startups
Another idea that was brought fourth was that the initiative should be financed by Startups that want and can contribute. By being funded by startups, #cphftw will really become “by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs” and the startups will feel a commitment to Copenhagen. It should also be because startups can see benefits of having a string community – be it making it easier to hire employees, getting better PR or get easier meeting with international VCs.
An online platform
An important part of creating a better eco-system is about creating a better entry-point for those not familiar with the startup scene. Therefor the need for an online platform that can give an overview as discussed and developed.
The platform is currently live already – although it was stressed it is an MVP and that more content will be added continuously now. There were discussions held on what to include, as well as which ‘easy wins’ that the initiative could undertake to move things forward. Multiple great ideas were brought to light – both at functionality of the online platform, as well as simple things that could move the whole eco-system ahead.
Some of the ‘easy wins’ ideas included things such as: making it easier for startups to get meeting with foreign investors thru the communities ties or setting up networks for knowledge sharing amongst key employees at startups. Also discussed where making recruiting easier and more visible, as well as helping ‘doers’ in the community connect in order to get even better events. Overall lots of great ideas, that can be achieved with relativly little effort but can make a lot of difference.
Townhall #3 – Community alignment
The third ever #cphftw Townhall meet-up is around the corner and will take place September 1st at KPH Volume, where all attendees can have a matter in the saying of what the key focus areas for #cphftw and Jasenko will be in the coming months.
Here Jasenko said he will present his thoughts, where the anybody will get a chance to pitch in, get included and provide comments.
“Everybody that attends the third Townhall will get a direct chance to provide input on what #cphftw should focus on going forward. We are all about creating hardcore value for entrepreneurs and startups, so we naturally encourage as many people as possible to come share their opinions with us.” Jasenko also said
Overall, great things that were talked about and put into action. Jasenko will probably become on of the faces of the startup scene in Copenhagen from now on, something that can benefit all startups, both big and small.