How to Understand Your Startup Community

…and why it might be the best investment you ever make

I owe my current job at Hardbound (we make five-minute illustrated summaries of the best books in business, history, and science) to my startup community. This article will help you unlock some of the many things (jobs included) that a startup community has to offer. Enjoy!

It’s my great pleasure to share with you Startup Communities, a video series explaining each of the participants in a startup community and how you can get involved. The story behind this series is explained below:

It’s rare that you can attribute years of your life to the happenings of one day. For me, that day was April 1, 2015. This is not a joke.

On April fools day in 2015, I was offered to pitch my startup to Julie Penner, Director of Techstars Boulder. Julie is a pillar of the Boulder startup community, and I was introduced to her through my school’s startup competition.

My team and I crowded into a very small conference room, and I did my best to deliver our pitch.

Julie was gracious. She let us know right then and there that we were not ready for Techstars. We were crushed, yet what she said next changed my life.

She did as all leaders in startup communities should, she was radically inclusive, and said that if we needed anything, we should reach out.

Somehow, maybe from the look in her eyes, I could tell that she actually meant it.

After our meeting that day, I did reach out, and she gave me the job that I spent the next two years of my life doing. In my case, investing in the startup community, starting first with my university’s entrepreneurship program, opened the doors to one of the greatest experiences of my life.

In my two years at Techstars Boulder, I saw the power of community firsthand, and was inspired.

I was inspired to take long walks with other pillars of the community and ask them how a startup community really works. From those walks, I produced a short video series explaining the roles and contributions of each and every member of a startup community.

It was my gift back to the startup community, and all 10 videos premiered at Techstars Boulder Demo Day 2017.

With this series anyone can, in 10 minutes, learn about their startup community and how to get involved. If you’re lucky, like me, you’ll run into a leader of the community. With effort, new doors will keep on opening.

Enjoy!

Link to the series here.

This was originally published on Medium