How to Use This Book

Rachel Aliana
4 min readJan 15, 2024


Generated by DALL-E.

A part of “Information Patterns for Successful Start-up Ecosystems.

This book deals with the theory and practical application of information patterns to develop successful entrepreneurship ecosystems. For readers most interested in the theory of information patterns, they can read straight through the book with a focus on the first section of each chapter. For Community Information Designers who want to implement the book’s strategies in their communities, it is recommended to do a first read through to understand the overall ideas and then come back to this section before implementation.

The Importance of Baseline Data

Before using any of the specific strategies outlined in the following chapters to improve your community’s start-up ecosystem, it is important for CIDs to have a baseline understanding of the founders that are in the ecosystem. This data helps you not simply make change, but understand whether these changes that are quantifiably better than what was happening before.

This “before” data can be gotten through a school-wide survey. Many entrepreneurship surveys at universities are conducted within specific initiatives where students opt-in to receiving emails from the program. However, since the number of potential founders is an important piece of data, it is important to push for this email to be sent to all university students and alumni.

This survey can help you understand key elements of your ecosystem to help you see changes over time and what information patterns to concentrate on implementing.

Some of the key numbers in this survey include:

The number of students interested in entrepreneurship

This number represents the total potential founders that want to enter the entrepreneurship pipeline. To increase this number, CIDs should focus on the pattern of foundational selection.

The ratio of Business and Technology founders

If you find almost all of the companies started are from founders in the fields of Business or Technology, founders from these fields tend to struggle to find deep problems to solve and are often impeded in their progress on specifically “unknown unknown” problems. If this is a problem at your university, the information pattern of Layers can help students build a more multi-disciplinary information network that solves these problems and encourages founders from other disciplines to join the entrepreneurship pipeline.

The ratio of scalable to non-scalable companies

Within a university ecosystem there should be both a mix of founders that want to build billion dollar moonshots and founders who want to build local lifestyle businesses. If you want to encourage more founders to create larger, scalable companies, the field founders enter, their revenue goals, and their current revenue can create a snapshot of the kinds of companies students want to pursue. To foster more scalable companies at their university, CIDs can utilize the concept of Chosen Edges to help their students find tools to push their ideas to larger scales.

Number of students at each stage in the entrepreneurship pipeline

The survey question that asks students what stage their company is at provides baseline data for where founders face problems in the university’s entrepreneurship pipeline. This data together with the pattern of nodes can help CIDs build infrastructure to help founders more effectively navigate the university’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

A template survey is given below that you can alter to fit your program’s needs.

Entrepreneurial Interest Survey

What is your current academic level?

a. Undergraduate

b. Graduate

c. Postgraduate/Doctoral

d. Alumni

d. Other (Please specify): __________

Which department are you currently enrolled in?

a. Business/Management

b. Engineering

c. Science and Technology

d. Arts and Humanities

e. Social Sciences

f. Health Sciences

g. Other (Please specify): __________

How would you describe your interest in entrepreneurship?

a. Actively pursuing entrepreneurship

b. Interested but not actively pursuing

c. Curious but undecided

d. Not interested

In which field(s) are you considering starting a business? (Select all that apply)

a. Technology

b. Healthcare

c. Retail

d. Food and Beverage

e. Renewable Energy

f. Other (Please specify): __________

At which stage do you currently find yourself in the entrepreneurship pipeline?

a. Idea generation

b. Market research

c. Developing product or service

d. Market entry

e. Scaling business

Question: What is your ultimate vision for the scale and impact of your business?

a. I want to manage a small-scale lifestyle business that aligns with my personal life and values.

b. I aim to develop a small to medium size (SME) business that effectively serves a specific market or community.

c. I aspire to scale up my business for national or international reach, making a considerable impact.

d. My ultimate ambition is to build a highly successful and large-scale company, potentially reaching a valuation of over a billion dollars.

If you have started a business, how far along are you in terms of development and revenue generation?

a. Pre-revenue (Still in planning or development phase)

b. Early revenue (Starting to make some income)

c. Consistent revenue (Stable and regular income)

d. Not applicable/I haven’t started a business

If you have answered B or C, what is your monthly revenue?

a. Under $500

b. Between $500 -$5,000

c. Between $5,000-$10,000

d. Above $10,000

Have you participated in any of these entrepreneurship programs?

a. University hackathon

b. Incubator program

c. Accelerator program

d. Mentorship network

e. Design Lab

f. Legal Lab

g. Other (please specify)