Founding a Startup Society – Book Announcement

Dear Builders,

We hope you had a wonderful start to your New Year.

The Startup Societies Foundation is happy to announce the release of its first book, Founding Startup Societies: A Step By Step Guide! Based on the authors’ experience in over 50 countries and over 120 projects, it is the most comprehensive guide to building areas of policy reform. 

The Guidebook covers 20 steps to create a Startup Society, from designing small pilots to running a full-scale city. It also introduces five unique best practices for making Startup Societies: creating consortiums to deliver immediate value, launching competitions to find local partners, leading with gifts for grassroots residents, lifting barriers to investment, and sharing upsides with local communities. 

This 500+ page guidebook aims to make Startup Societies a widespread and inclusive movement. It combines new opportunities for bootstrapping with specific resources for large-scale development. If you are interested in purchasing the book, click on the button below. 




Joseph McKinney, 

President of the Startup Societies Foundation

Read what our readers have said

“This book isn’t just a step by step guide to founding a startup city. It is a step by step guide on how to make the world a better place one startup city at a time. Eventually I hope the whole world can be filled with millions of competing startup cities. Having this guide brings us one step closer to that reality.”


—Roger Ver (Founder of

“Founding Startup Societies offers solutions to urban problems, while also providing blueprints for community entrepreneurship and investment. Many social problems such as lack of housing, traffic congestion, crime, and urban blight can be traced to political failures, which can be remedied by a shift to decentralized governance with market-based financing. The book shows historical and current examples of successful startups, as well as guides to reforms and restructuring that can result in successful communities. This is an excellent and thorough guide to better community development and governance. Fred Foldvary author of Public Goods and Private Communities.”


—Fred Foldvary (author of Public Goods and Private Communities)

“I’ve been at this full time for seven years, and I’m astonished at how much I learned from this book. The Seasteading Institute will be sending this how-to-guide to every entrepreneur who wants to create the next wave of startup societies and tell them: Follow these instructions.”


—Joe Quirk  (President of The Seasteading Institute)

 “Grounded in long experience and informed by rigorous theory, Founding Startup Societies offers a comprehensive guide to visionaries eager to build special jurisdictions. This “Step by Step Guide” (as the subtitle puts it) does not exactly make the long journey from inspiration to realization sound easy; that would qualify the book as fiction. It does, however, make clear how a dedicated and informed team can do something formerly the sole province of government bureaucrats, World Bank policy wonks, and big-money real estate developers: create a special jurisdiction. While worthy in its own right as a how-to guide, Founding Startup Societies also stands as a notable example of the industry’s maturation. What the authors had to figure out on their own, largely by trial and error, this book turns into clear and succinct lessons. From foundations such as these, the next and best generation of governments may well come.”


—Tom W. Bell (Professor of Law at Chapman University and author of Your Next Government: from Nation-States to Stateless nations)

“This book provides a wealth of information on how to go about developing a startup society. Co-author Mark Frazier is one of the most experienced advisors on special economic zones on the planet, and co-author Joe McKinney is leading the movement to promote the concept of Startup Societies around the world. Anyone who would like to make the world a better place by starting a new society of some kind, based on practical advice and experience, will find relevant information here. The book is not a substitute for legal and professional expertise, but rather provides an incredible range of information to introduce readers to the many different considerations and strategies for creating a new community and getting relevant stakeholders bought in. I’m excited about having such an accessible, broad overview of practical how-to tips available to the world for the first time. This book is likely to accelerate the already growing Startup Societies movement globally.”


—Michael Strong

“Have you ever thought about creating a community or city from scratch? Many people have acted on such ambitions, creating numerous lessons learned in the process. Mark Frazier and Joseph McKinney have distilled these lessons into their new guide on Founding Startup Societies. As someone who has followed “new country” and intentional community projects for many years, I was surprised to see so many new ideas in this book. Frazier and McKinney have given a lot of thought to the question of how founders can gain acceptance from area residents. They caution against extractive or neo-colonial models, instead recommending confidence building techniques such as “Leading With a Gift”. Rather than repeat the mistakes of others, prospective startup society entrepreneurs would be well served by checking out this book.”


—Marc Joffe (Senior Policy Analyst at Reason Foundation)

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