Venture Ecosystem Builders Jeff Amerine, Dr. Jeff Standridge to Release Book

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Startup Junkie Consulting Founder and Managing Director Jeff Amerine and Conductor Managing Director Dr. Jeff Standridge's first co-authored book Creating Startup Junkies, an Ecosystem Building Roadmap, will be released on Jan. 28, 2021.

Startup Junkie Consulting Founder and Managing Director Jeff Amerine and Conductor Managing Director Dr. Jeff Standridge will release their first co-authored book this month, applying years of experience in entrepreneurial ecosystem building to a road map for communities and stakeholders in often-overlooked parts of the country.

The book, Creating Startup Junkies: Building Sustainable Venture Ecosystems in Unexpected​ Places​, will be released on January 28, 2021.

Creating Startup Junkies​ focuses on the unique proposition of creating sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems in unexpected places. In the book, Amerine and Standridge demonstrate that Arkansas, and other flyover states, are well-positioned to create startup activity and strengthen their ecosystem through intentional cultivation of a collaborative culture, engagement with the community, and capitalization of early-stage ventures. The book outlines this genesis through knowledge, anecdotes, tools, and a framework to transform one’s community and create one’s own team of startup junkies.

“Most of the attention for venture ecosystems is coastal focused,” said Standridge. “But we believed there was something to be had and cultivated here in the heartland, the heart of America… We wanted to tell that story and provide a blueprint for economic developers, community leaders, ecosystem builders, and others in unexpected places. We want those people to get as much attention and focus as the folks on the coasts.”

Creating Startup Junkies​ serves as a roadmap to creating a sustainable venture ecosystem for municipal leaders, chamber executives, university leaders, academics, and other community stakeholders.

“Too often the economic development play is ‘let’s go attract a big plant to relocate in our community.’ And there’s a place for that. That’s important. But that’s like buying a winning lottery ticket,” said Amerine. “What we’re talking about in this book and with everything we do is more so the Moneyball play. How do you get a better on-base percentage with the talent you have locally? Because that’s something that’ll stick.”

Standridge added, “I differentiate economic development from economic empowerment… I get the economic development play; that’s about moving jobs from one geography to the next or deciding to grow jobs in a geography because of cost advantages, talent advantages. We’ve got to have it. We must do it. But economic empowerment is about creating a dollar where one didn’t exist before. This book is for people who want to create a culture of economic empowerment.”

The book includes a foreword written by Congressman French Hill and is broken into five parts: 1) Setting the Stage, 2) The Four Pillars of Ecosystem Building, 3) Leveraging Best Practices, 4) Tools of the Trade, and 5) Looking Ahead. The book also includes tools for prospective ecosystem builders including an ecosystem building canvas and a strategic assessment and synthesis process.

The book has already received endorsements from Steve Blank, the father of modern entrepreneurship; Louis Patler, New York Times​ best selling author and president of the B.I.T. Group; Dr. Houston Davis, President of UCA, Matthew Waller, Dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business; Sam Alley, co-founder and CEO of VCC; and many more.

To celebrate the release of the book, Amerine and Standridge will host a virtual book signing on Jan. 28, from 1 to 2 p.m. CST. Registered attendees will have the opportunity to hear and ask questions of the authors about the book. A limited number of signed copies will be given away to those who register. Register for the virtual book signing here​.

For more information about the book, downloadable ecosystem building resources, or to sign up for updates, visit

In addition to leading Startup Junkie Consulting, Amerine also co-leads Innovation Junkie and Cadron Capital Partners. Amerine finished his education at the United States Naval Academy in 1984, completed his Master of Science in Operations Management degree from the University of Arkansas and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Standridge currently manages Conductor, a public-private partnership between the University of Central Arkansas and Startup Junkie Consulting. He also co-founded Cadron Capital Partners, and teaches in the College of Business at the University of Central Arkansas. Standridge has also previously written and released two best-selling books, The Innovator’s Field Guide:​ Accelerators for Entrepreneurs, Innovators & Change Agents​ and The Top Performer’s Field​ Guide: Catalysts for Leaders, Innovators & All Who Aspire to Be.

What Readers Are Saying

“Jeff Amerine and Jeff Standridge, through their combined knowledge, experience, creativity, and success, have launched hundreds of dreams and careers. Now they have written a book that shares many gems of their advice. The book will fire the imagination of educators, economic developers, government leaders, and startup junkies who no doubt will help launch hundreds more projects and products in flyover states such as Arkansas. Jeff and Jeff are members of an elite band of entrepreneurs who have fueled Arkansas’ reputation as a global leader in the development of technology that makes life better for everyone.” – Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas Governor

“In Creating Startup ​ ​Junkies, Jeff Armine and Jeff Standridge demystify how would-be founders and community stakeholders can give rise to a thriving entrepreneurial scene by playing to a region’s strengths. For oft-overlooked areas of the country, like Arkansas, this book is a manual for growth. Our state has a legacy of cultivating some of the most successful companies on the planet. With the guidance of the Startup Junkie team, the foundation is being laid for the next JB Hunt, Tysons, or Walmart to take the world by storm. As a proud member of a fourth-generation family enterprise that was launched in my hometown of Hope, I can’t wait to see these pages put into practice by tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.” – Mack McLarty, former White House Chief of Staff

Release ID: 88995170