Innovation is something that is bred through the intersection of great minds. Creating density of talented thinkers and makers dramatically increases the potential for successful ventures to emerge. Density can be built along closely connected clusters, physical hubs, networks, and linkages to academics and business. In general, research shows the frequency of interactions is less valuable than the quality of the interactions.
The effect of entrepreneurial density can be dramatic: when talented makers and innovators interact regularly, new successful ventures are likely to emerge. The proximity of people working and collaborating at various stages encourages the practical learning from those who have recently attempted activities while allowing new ideas to flourish without the stagnation that occurs in a more corporate environment. The challenge to making entrepreneurial density work, however, is building the quality of the collisions. This is based on an underlying philosophy that the startup community is a network with all of the participants as nodes on the network, connecting them together. As these nodes connect or "collide", there exists a quality of these collisions. When the quality of these collisions are high, the network sees exponential growth, knowledge transfer, and revenue generation. When the quality of content or value of the interactions becomes low, then the overall value of the network dissipates.
The TRB Garage will provide at least 10,000 square feet of office space with project-based classrooms, private offices, coworking space, and ability to host multiple companies at various stages of development.
Prepare for Growth
Ideally, the "TRB Garage" will host a company for 3 years as it matures from an early stage concept into a growth company with 15-25 people. As companies graduate, they will be large enough and have a developed talent pool to exist independently and begin the next phase of their growth. There should always be 4-8 companies of various stages at the "TRB Garage". By keeping companies of different stages together, they can share lessons learned and information to help improve the community of startups in the portfolio. By having a prolonged period of time with a common team of mentors and engaging with other portfolio companies, there are more people working to solve the individual problems and challenges of a specific company versus focusing on building education programs that must meet the needs of all potential attendees.
The quality of the interactions between entrepreneurs, employees, mentors, and investors is something we believe to be paramount. This is not an open to the public environment, this is an environment for those who want to build the technology companies for the future of Tucson.