Santa Fe Innovates’ Approach to Community

You have an idea, and you want to execute upon it. You want to do something game-changing. But how can you change the game if you’re the only player?

Well, you can’t.

As an entrepreneur, it’s hard to make progress in a silo. The evolution of a startup involves (quite possibly, you) the entrepreneur, coming to the table, ready and willing to do what it takes to build the right solution for the appropriate problem – which frequently involves validating your assumptions. Here at Santa Fe Innovates, we believe one of the most powerful ways to do that is through community.

Compared to our immediate neighbors, we’re a “large small state,” New Mexico. Among other characteristics, our size and population density, history and identities as New Mexicans highlight the value we place on community. Community is a part of how we live and who we are.

Since we’ve announced the launch of Go Social Entrepreneurs a few weeks ago, the community has grown to over 30 strong, mainly comprised of local members, and it continues to grow steadily. Our vision for Go Social Entrepreneurs is to provide a safe space for those interested in social entrepreneurship. Whether an entrepreneur, potential investor or concerned citizen, it’s a place to share ideas, connect with other like-minded individuals, and most importantly, learn from one another.

We’ve created this for anyone – near and far – interested in becoming a part of/contributing to this community, and it aligns with our vision to put Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico on the map as a center for Social Enterprise.

We’ve also created a closed community for our first Ideation Cohort, which serves as a private community where our members can freely discuss their ideas, challenges they may be facing, wins they may be experiencing, make announcements, and share relevant news/information. It’s a safe space where our participants can connect to their peers and solicit advice. The private virtual community has acted as an excellent platform for all kinds of conversations –  especially in the earliest startup stages, when all is still yet to be defined.

Another exciting community we’re building is one we’ve been talking about quite a bit recently: our mentorship network. Exclusively for our accelerator participants, this new community of mentors will be an invaluable resource to our cohort members. Mentorship is paramount in startup success, and we’re looking forward to matching up our founders with the right mentors.

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey. When you’re “rocking the boat” or “going against the grain,” it can sometimes feel like you’re your own little island. It is and remains essential for us to be able to foster connection in the spirit of social entrepreneurship. Our virtual communities showcase the power of where we stand now in this heavily virtual landscape. As our world continues to become smaller and more niched, we look forward to facilitating the connection of other like-minded individuals, both near and far.  

If you haven’t already, join us in Go Social Entrepreneurs. We look forward to welcoming you.

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Olivia Grabowska

About Olivia Grabowska

Olivia Grabowska is the Director of Strategy and Community Development for Santa Fe Innovates. Olivia has long been passionate about being a dot-connector. Having started her career in Financial Services, the 2008 financial crisis brought about an opportunity to think differently, which led her to establish an Accelerator/Incubation program for a large Corporate Bank. Olivia moved to “the City Different” in January 2020 after falling in love with Santa Fe through her travels.