• Every system will be different. Look for the unique strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The boundary of the ecosystem you choose to map can either be very specific, such as the talent ecosystem in an organisation or industry, or very broad as in a community or a region.
  • Understand what currently exists, as well as what works and why. Look to identify particular aspects of the system to help explain the more general system. Look for ways you can make the ecosystem flourish, what levers might you pull. Ask those in the system what they think might work.
  • Consider the future, where gaps and surpluses might exist in five/ten/twenty years’ time.

 Hayden Glass Attract 1

Hayden Glass speaks about mapping the ecosystem during the launch of the TalentNZ Menu of Initiatives on 11 June 2014.


2014 International Examples

Louisville Open Coffee Club, Kentucky, US

This regular gathering of start-up entrepreneurs recently undertook a ‘start-up mapping’ exercise to chart the entrepreneur community in Louisville, and to envision how it might develop in the future. Key to this process was brainstorming practical and deliverable solutions for problems commonly encountered by start-ups in the city.

OpenAxel, European Union

OpenAxel is an EU initiative that aims to map all the European acceleration services providers that can help emerging startups and SMEs in Europe. Additionally, OpenAxel will work in bridging the gap between industry and entrepreneurs, connecting emerging talent with business partners and digital corporations. On top of this, the top 18 European startups will be selected through two contests and will be awarded with a wide range of prizes that will boost their status.

Effat University, Saudi Arabia

Effat University has produced a series of maps of Saudi Arabia’s ‘entrepreneurship ecosystem’. These demonstrate how institutions, regulation and business strategy currently work to support or undermine entrepreneurs across the country, and suggest how the talent environment could be improved.