This week, I wrote about a new startup out of Fayetteville, Arkansas called Engine. Cofounder John James had previously founded another startup in the area called Acumen Brands, which raised about $100 million during its history. After selling a majority stake in the company, he began using that money to invest in other startups, but he wondered what the best next step was in order to achieve his goal of making Fayetteville a better place for startups.

The way he phrased his dilemma to me: “Is my time better served mentoring 10 people, or taking a 10 percent chance at building a billion-dollar company?”

James decided that founding another startup was the best use of his time — that the best way to put a startup community on the map is by creating a success story. On the other hand, as I’ve written about previously, if too much attention is placed on one startup in the community and that startup fails, it can cast a negative light on the whole community.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts — is it better for a startup community if an experienced entrepreneur channels their energy toward helping other startups or building their own? Or are there any other “best uses of time” that I’m missing? Send me your thoughts via email, or tweet me @ahhensel.

Anna Hensel
Heartland Tech Reporter

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Check out this video from Talks at Google: “Brad Feld & David Cohen: Building Techstars

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What the selectiveness of your college says about where you’re likely to move after. (via Slate)

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