Startup Grind Aims to Inspire Global Entrepreneurs
USA- Los Angeles, CA | Aug 12 2012 | (23:19:50 - EDT)
Startup Grind is an events-based community for entrepreneurs Derek Andersen founded in 2010. For those unfamiliar, the company grew out the casual, episodic meetings Andersen had with friends and fellow entrepreneurs in his office in Mountain View, in which they’d gather at night to brainstorm, give feedback on ideas and business models and talk about being an entrepreneur. The meetings were productive, so Andersen decided to make them a monthly thing.
Startup Grind had its first event in Feb. 2010 with nine people in attendance and the numbers have grown steadily since. It launched its first chapter outside of Silicon Valley in LA in December 2011.
Seven months later, Startup Grind now has monthly events in 20 cities worldwide (Austin, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Toronto, Ottawa, Baltimore, Singapore, Tel Aviv, London and Sydney — to name a few) and the founder wants to be in 30 worldwide by year’s end.
But what does “being in” these cities entail? Andersen says he thinks of Startup Grind as being TED for startups and founders. Or one might think of it as an entrepreneurial Elk’s Club or a national, self-sustaining of local affiliate networks... a la Fight Club.
That means Startup Grind hosts monthly meetups in each of its affiliate cities, in which any and all entrepreneurs and founders can participate. These groups talk about the startup hustle, network, share notes on investors and partnerships, all of which is framed around keynotes or interviews given by local veterans, who share their knowledge and advice with the community. The founders of Pinterest, Digg, About.me, AngelList, Zaarly, Meetup, along with names like Jeff Clavier, Steve Blank and Dave McClure have all spoken at Startup Grind events in Silicon Valley.
Startup Grind provides a networking and educational venue for the other 97 percent. It doesn’t charge “dues” to its local affiliates, and the founder says that the team is trying to recruit the same people who help educate Y Combinator and TechStars companies, only instead prompting them to share their experience and knowledge with the local startup ecosystem.
The company brings on sponsorships for each event (like Bing, Google, local law firms, and others) and charges at its events, which the team believes can help create a more resolute crowd for networking. Startup Grind offers a rev-share deal for its local communities, but Andersen says the majority of money the events make goes to the organizers, who put it towards future costs and recruiting. Today, the company has a small staff and is profitable.
Communities like Startup Weekend, AngelHack and Lean Startup Machine are all providing great ways for founders and hackers to collaborate, learn and help build networks in their communities — and the more, the merrier. The world is a big place, and not all innovation is (or should be) happening in or around the Bay Area.
Article/images courtesy: TechCrunch
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