Now that Startup Weekend Health Edition event is over and my current workload has lightened up a bit I’ve got some time to put into some StartupSac.com projects. There still continues to be a lot of activity in the Sacramento startup community with new players and relationships coming out on a weekly basis. As a visually-oriented person I’ve been wanting some kind of network map, entity relationship diagram, or some kind of visual representation that maps out the various entities and their relationships in the Sacramento startup community. Then an idea hit me a couple of weeks ago – a subway style map of the Sacramento startup scene modeled after the infamous London Tube Map (People have made similar style maps to represent the Web). But I also want it to be interactive so that more details about each entity on the map can be revealed.
Once this is complete I’ll publish it map on StartupSac.com, but it’s still very much work in progress and I need to get some feedback and help from the Sacramento startup community to complete it.
The first step was to sketch out some rough concepts on paper to get the basic idea out of my head and see what it might look like.
Using the information I already have in the Sacramento Startup Scene infographic I began laying out the players in Adobe Illustrator. Getting the players on the map and adding their respective detail pop-up windows has been the easy part. Identifying the relationships and making the connections between the players has been more of a challenge, not so much from the design standpoint but just identifying what those relationships are. Here’s a few screen captures of the map with some pop-up windows open.
It’s at the point now where I’ve exhausted my current knowledge of the players and their relationships and I need to start validating it all with other people in the community with more background and knowledge of it than I have. There’s still some key missing elements: the network of mentors, advisors, etc. (the purple line), as well as additional key existing businesses (blue line), and I’m pretty unclear on the various civic programs (red line) and their relationships.
This exercise has already resulted in a map that’s more complex than I thought it would be and I’m sure that it will get quite a bit more so when I incorporate input from others. But, I think this can be a useful navigation tool for the Sacramento startup community, especially the newcomers to the scene and those who have a good knowledge of their own silo but not the big picture.
Want to lend your knowledge of the Sacramento startup scene to this project? Ping me on Twitter @DigitalSplash or @StartupSac, or contact me through the StartupSac.com contact form and drop some knowledge on me.