Mapping Philadelphia's IT Startup Ecosystem

To understand the varied perspectives from my first round of interviews, I grouped the different interviewees into categories that define the role they play within the ecosystem. These different categories include: service providers, coworking spaces, startups, incubators and accelerators, investors, community organizations, and universities. Once I grouped them, I realized there's an exchange of "stuff" that allows each group to continue to operate within the ecosystem. This "stuff" included funds, equity, labor, experience, etc. At its simplest, it's the ebb and flow of human interactions. It gives rise to organism-like structures that can be identified from how the people within the startup ecosystem group together. Furthermore, grouping people and the organizations they're a part of into these quasi-defined structures allows for one to analyze the interactions between those groups.


Having finished grouping them together, I realized I could use the map as a tool to further discover where certain resources may be located within the ecosystem. The resource I'm concerned with finding are mentors and the experience they provide. The current version of the map can be found here. The first version of the map is below:


I now had an interviewing tool to engage the interviewee in a way that uses more than speaking and listening, it uses touching and playing, an interviewing strategy I've coined tangible interviews.

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