SCALE started as an informal network in 2016 and it will transform into a formalized network at the beginning of 2019 (its establishment is still in progress). SCALE operates globally and is built by and for civil servants from local governments. The goal is to establish SCALE chapters on each continent. A European chapter has already been started and it includes 20 cities.
The focus of SCALE.CITIES is on the role of the government in activities and initiatives that strengthen the startup entrepreneurial space and tech ecosystem. In cities all over the world, local governments are playing a profound role in strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystems by trying to create an environment in which businesses, knowledge institutions, and capital providers can find each other. Consequently, this makes it easier for startups to mature and grow into profitable drivers of employment and innovation, which is good for both the future prosperity and well-being of a city. Local governments can always do more to be instrumental in such developments.
Along with other stakeholders, local governments must take their role and act as enabler, neutral broker, ecosystem builder and marketeer. However, public representatives need assistance, examples and collaborations in order to be more effective and efficient.
SCALE.CITIES is the collaboration of these civil servants and public officials to do exactly that: we share our learnings, we share our networks, and we work together on projects which benefit our local ecosystems and connect ecosystems globally.
Participants representing individual cities work in departments which are continuously engaged in setting up and executing projects and programmes aimed at improving the startup ecosystem. In some cities these activities have been outsourced to more private- public organisations; in these cases, as long as there is a strong link with the local government and the organisation can speak for that government, they are eligible to join SCALE. CITIES. SCALE is a global, open network.
Benefits of joining SCALE.CITIES
Through SCALE.CITIES, cities are introduced to solutions for diverse topics and challenges that play important roles in every Startup City. These include: Deploying strategies to grow a local ecosystem; Government as launching customer; Female entrepreneurship; Connecting ecosystems globally; Activating corporates for your ecosystem; Attracting (foreign) tech and entrepreneurial talent; Educating, re-educating and up-skilling tech talent; Commitment to new emerging technologies (e.g., AI, blockchain, robotics) and awareness of their potential consequences; Establishing inclusive growth; Developing innovation districts; Supporting startups and scaleups scaling internationally; Learning how to activate more startups in your local ecosystem.
Through joining SCALE.CITIES, a city becomes part of a global ecosystem of front-running cities; learns from ecosystem building experts from other cities; gets access to a growing number of cases and experiences from other cities about the above-mentioned topics; and showcases the city’s activities to a global network.
All members have access to the SCALE.CITIES product portfolio, including:
- The SCALE.TOOL — Self-assessment tool to benchmark your city and receive suggested best practices. How do you stand as an ecosystem? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Where and how can you as a government play a role? How can you learn from other cities? These questions are central to the self-assessment tool, which is explicitly not a ranking of cities but a tool to strengthen the local ecosystem.
- SCALE best practices — Sharing strategies, tools, playbooks and best practices with each other. We are working on a database of best practices from around the world. A start has already been made by the 20 SCALE cities, and this will be further expanded. The database contains a summary, organisational structure, business model and contact person for each project.
- Peer network — Connect with your peers globally. We plan to organise webinars (digital seminars) on specific topics, hold Peer2Peer gilt sessions, discuss and share learnings, describe cases from other cities, and share lessons on the role of government.
- SCALE study boot camps — For a small group of cities, a short, well-prepared study trip will be organised, to learn from and be inspired by the experiences and projects in each city.
- SCALE (flagship) events — Access to SCALE events and summits, which can be specific events organised around or during international tech events, plus an annual SCALE StartupCity Summit.