So, you have the right technology and a compelling business case, but is that all it takes to become a successful entrepreneur or do good old fashioned values still count?

Certainly, the pace and expansion of global technologies that we have witnessed over the past decade have worked to break down many of the traditional barriers to entry for start-ups across the world. Location, background, education, and to a certain extent business experience, are increasingly irrelevant now that the likes of Google and social networks have created access to networks, products and services on an unprecedented scale.  The subsequent explosion of start-ups has given rise to many millions of budding entrepreneurs while widespread connectivity is assisting in making new technology companies accessible to the masses.

However, arguably, being part of a community is the most necessary component when beginning to look at developing new ideas into a product or service. One must build a virtual community certainly, but offline communities and co-working are also of critical importance.  Working within a co-working space allows start-ups to gain instant access to networking opportunities and camaraderie. A successful co-working space brings together a collection of inspired and determined minds, with the added benefits of the brand of the space, its ethos and the people it attracts. Association with a well-established co-working space leads to credibility and the right contacts. Once part of any community an entrepreneur must get fully involved by taking part in trade shows, events, talks, seminars, panels as well as online networking. The networking never stops!

Communities created offline in incubators and co-working spaces such as our Catalyst Centre can really help companies to accelerate growth and achieve their full potential through access to wider networks for mentoring and funding. Incubators like this work hard to create the right community networks and a dynamic entrepreneurial environment for companies to prosper but ultimately, it is down to the entrepreneurs to seize every opportunity that lies before them.

On a personal scale, entrepreneurs need a number of specific skills regardless of which industry they will be entering. Self-confidence, enthusiasm and commitment are at the forefront of essential attributes to becoming an entrepreneur in the technology industry. One must be a shameless self-promoter at all times to gain a rock solid reputation. An entrepreneur must enjoy and be passionate about what they do. Planning, time-keeping and organisation must be part of their daily life to promote their product or service in the most successful and proactive way.

To learn more about the University of Southampton Science Park’s thriving technology start-up community visit