At Techweek Chicago in June, moderator Anthony Hughes of Jumpstart’s Mentoring program asked early in the program how many people in the crowd work for startups or for companies that provide services to startups.  Over half of the audience members raised their hands. 

Mike Langellier joined Max Chopvsky of Chicago Creative Space, Benjamin Dyett of Grind and Anthony Hughes of Jumpstart’s Mentoring Program on June 28 at Techweek Chicago to discuss “Ideas for Entrepreneurial Ecosystems,” a broad conversation about how to create good space that fosters creativity and innovation.  Hughes (who mentors entrepreneurs professionally) served as the panel’s moderator. 

Hughes concluded the program by saying the panelists had been presented with a “big topic and a short window of time.”  Topics of conversation during the 20-minute panel ranged from theoretical musings about the best co-working space to the efficacy of start-up incubators to social movements thatdrive economic change. 

Chopvsky runs a business that helps Chicago entrepreneurs find space that aligns and perpetuates their company culture, while Langellier and TechPoint accelerate Indiana’s tech sector on a much broader level. 

Thus, the driving of entrepreneurial ecosystems was examined from the very micro to the very macro levels.  But as became evident throughout the panel, messaging from all sizes of drivers about ecosystems conducive to entrepreneurship is much the same. 

According to Chopvsky, the space (big or small) is about the culture, which ultimately results from the people. Langellier capped off the panel saying that venues in which those people are brought together in unified recognition (like TechPoint’s Mira Awards) drive passion.  And if the people behind just about anything are passionate, they’re apt to rally around the “why,” the North Star, of any organization or cause.