By Chris Heivly, Entrepreneur in Residence at Techstars
For a brief, shining moment, I was in the fire suppression business, so I know a little about fire. Fire needs three elements: spark, material, and oxygen. That is why you keep your door closed when there is a fire outside the room—don’t feed it more oxygen.
When I meet with startup community enthusiasts, we talk about the factors that seem to grow a community and the factors that seem to inhibit progress. If we could only do more of the right thing and less of the wrong things maybe we could build a little momentum.
Every community has its challenges. Some of the ones I hear are:
- We do not have enough capital;
- There are leaders who try and control everything;
- I can’t find any good mentors;
- The local corporations do not engage with startups;
- We don’t have any breakout companies.
These are real challenges and each one plays a negative role. But here’s the thing—in itself, publicly and privately bitching about these issues also has a negative role to play. I know this is human nature. I also know we need to address the issue.
Those complaints just gave the challenges more oxygen. And now we have a bigger fire.
Negative community talk creates doubt and has a direct impact on each member of the community. At the very least we need to balance the challenge discussions with the positive milestone stories.
Are you an active member of your startup community? Find yourself spending just a little too much time whining about what you don’t have? Try and minimize those conversations, and try celebrating a few more of the advances you have made.
One great advance for any growing startup community is a Techstars Startup Weekend. Organize one in your city!
By Arturo Calle Flores, CEO Alterlatina & Community Leader, Techstars Startup Programs Peru
Here, Everyone Shares Everything
In a conversation during an event at Techstars Startup Week Lima, a venture capitalist told me: “It amazes me how this works, I come from the corporate world and there nobody shares anything.” I liked hearing that because it reflects the achievements of several years spent trying to create a community of startups in Lima, Peru. Here, everyone shares everything.
Organizing Techstars Startup Week Lima took four months, but helping to create a collaborative culture took about six years. Techstars Startup Week Lima is an event that celebrates the achievements of the startup community, brings together all the actors of the innovative entrepreneurship ecosystem, and shares knowledge and experiences for a week.
A few years ago it was not possible to imagine such an event in Lima. So what changed?
Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Meets Latin American Business Culture
The resurgence of the Internet boom that happened around 2007 made a big difference. Social networks began to redefine cyberspace. Google disrupted the advertising business, Apple redesigned the music business, and Amazon boosted e-commerce globally. In that year and the following, thousands of entrepreneurs from around the world began to meet in spontaneous, effervescent, and dynamic communities, in order to exchange experiences and launch their startups.
Latin America was part of that process. Initiatives were born in places like Tequila Valley, Palermo Valley, and Lima Valley, to name a few. From the beginning, the entrepreneurs in these communities not only disseminated the new technologies and businesses of the network—they also introduce a new type of culture, the collaborative culture of Silicon Valley. However, adapting an entrepreneurship ecosystem to Latin American business culture was not easy; many burgeoning startup communities disintegrated, and others were forgotten.
Strengthening the Startup Ecosystem in Lima
Towards the year 2011, my local startup community, along with some other communities in Latin America, started running Techstars Startup Weekends in Lima, with a goal of strengthening the startup ecosystem. During the following years, the governments of countries including Chile, Brazil, and Peru created funds for startups, and accelerators began to appear in the region. But the success stories were few, the startups very isolated—and the government programs threatened to close.
That was, until they started measuring the social impact of these initiatives. That’s when those programs discovered that, although the monetary results were lower than they had hoped, there was a change in the minds and attitudes of the entrepreneurs in these communities. Now, people were worried about generating global impact and creating sustainable businesses; they sought contact with the creators of different technologies; and they started thinking twice before working in a company that didn’t not worry about social welfare.
In those years of work in the community, something had changed. What had been the transformative factor? I would argue that Techstars Startup Week has had a huge impact.
Techstars Startup Week Lima by the Numbers
Let me share a few numbers to back up that bold statement. Techstars Startup Week Lima has joined more than 30 organizations of the Peruvian ecosystem; it had 89 exhibitors and 48 sponsors directly impacting more than 1300 entrepreneurs face-to-face and 1250 in the live broadcasts of social networks. Entrepreneurs attended an average of 10 events, and attendees scored the events an average of 8.9 out of 10. Startup Week Lima was an event with excellent numbers.
How did we achieve this strong outcome? We asked for help. We talked with the regional community and formed organizing teams interested in giving first. Give First is one of Techstars deeply held beliefs: we give without expectation of receiving a transactional or immediate return. It’s amazing how life changes when you start to live #GiveFirst.
We received help from the Techstars communities of Venezuela and Pachuca, Mexico. We received not only advice but also work material, speakers for virtual talks, examples of what went well and what went wrong at previous events, and even operational help for various activities of the event. These outpourings of collaboration and helping each other would have been previously inconceivable in the traditional Latin American corporate world.
Yes, Techstars Startup Week had a big impact—but it’s not the main thing that changed this community and made it so much more collaborative and functional.
So what was the decisive factor? The change of attitude: give first, be inclusive of everyone, and develop a network instead of a hierarchy. That network is not done in a day, and this kind of change can’t be imposed from outside, it has to grow from within and it is a long journey. But today, I look at the startup community here in Lima, and the amazing event we held at Techstars Startup Week Lima, and I feel profound satisfaction. I see a more united ecosystem here, plus dozens of Latin American cities closer and closer to a boiling technology business.
Techstars Startup Week is a celebration of entrepreneurs in cities around the globe. Find one—or make one happen—in your city.
Una nueva cultura de startups en el Techstars Startup Week Lima
Por Arturo Calle Flores, CEO Alterlatina & Community Leader, Techstars Startup Programs Perú
Aquí, todos comparten todo.
En una conversación, durante un evento en el Startup Week Lima, un inversionista de capital de riesgo me dijo: “Me asombra cómo funciona esto, yo vengo del mundo corporativo y ahí nadie comparte nada”. Me gustó oír esa frase porque refleja el logro de varios años tratando de crear una comunidad de startups en Lima, Perú. Aquí todos comparten todo.
Organizar Techstars Startup Week Lima nos tomó cuatro meses, pero para ayudar a crear una cultura de colaboración nos tardamos unos seis años. El evento celebra los logros de la comunidad de startups, reúne a todos los actores del ecosistema de emprendimiento de innovación, y comparte conocimiento y experiencias durante una semana.
Hace unos años no era posible imaginar un evento así en Lima, ¿Qué ha cambiado?.
El ecosistema de emprendimiento se encuentra con la cultura latinoamericana de negocios
El resurgimiento del boom del Internet que se produjo alrededor del 2007 hizo una gran diferencia. Las redes sociales comenzaron a redefinir el ciberespacio. Google disrumpe el negocio de la publicidad, Apple rediseña el negocio de la música y Amazon impulsa el comercio electrónico a nivel global. Durante ese año y los siguientes, miles de emprendedores de todo el mundo comenzaron a reunirse en comunidades espontáneas, efervescentes y dinámicas, con el fin de intercambiar experiencias y lanzar sus startups.
Latinoamérica no fue ajena a ese proceso. Nacieron iniciativas como Tequila Valley, Palermo Valley y Lima Valley, por nombrar algunas. Desde el inicio, los emprendedores en estas comunidades no solo diseminaron las nuevas tecnologías y negocios de la red — también introdujeron un nuevo tipo de cultura, la cultura colaborativa de Silicon Valley. Sin embargo, la adaptación a la cultura de negocios latinoamericana no fue fácil; muchas comunidades se desintegraron y otras pasaron al olvido.
Fortaleciendo el ecosistema de startups en Lima
Hacia el año 2011, mi comunidad local de startups, junto con algunas comunidades en Latinoamérica, comenzamos a realizar los Techstars Startup Weekend, con el objetivo de fortalecer el ecosistema de startups. Durante los siguientes años, los gobiernos de países como Chile, Brasil y Perú crearon fondos para startups, y las aceleradoras empezaron a aparecer en la región; pero los casos de éxito eran contados, las startups aisladas–y los programas de gobierno amenazaban con cerrar.
Hasta que se comenzó a medir el impacto social de estas iniciativas. Es cuando se descubre que, si bien los resultados monetarios no eran los esperados, se estaba dando un cambio en la mente y actitudes de los emprendedores de estas comunidades. Ahora las personas estaban preocupadas por generar impacto global, negocios sostenibles; buscando el contacto con los creadores de tecnología y pensándolo dos veces antes de trabajar en una empresa que no se preocupa por el bienestar social.
En esos años de trabajo en la comunidad, algo había cambiado. ¿Cuál había sido el factor decisivo?
Techstars Startup Week Lima en Números
Podría asegurar que Techstars Startup Week ha tenido un gran impacto. Permítanme compartir algunos números para respaldar la declaración anterio. Techstars Startup Week Lima ha unido a más de 30 organizaciones del ecosistema peruano; ha contado con 89 expositores y 48 patrocinadores impactando directamente más de 1300 emprendedores de manera presencial y 1250 en las transmisiones en vivo de las redes sociales. Los emprendedores asistieron en promedio a 10 eventos, de los cuales se dió una valoración de 8.9 sobre 10 en promedio en la calificación de su participación. Startup Week Lima fue un evento con excelentes números.
¿Qué hicimos para lograrlo? Pedimos ayuda. Conversamos con la comunidad regional y formamos equipos organizadores interesados en dar primero. Give First (Dar Primero) es una de las creencias más arraigadas de Techstars; damos sin expectativa de recibir algo a cambio o de manera inmediata. Es increíble cómo cambia la vida cuando empiezas a vivir con #GiveFirst como creencia.
Recibimos ayuda de las comunidades de Techstars en Venezuela y México. Y no solo consejos, sino material de trabajo, expositores para las charlas virtuales, ejemplos de las cosas que salieron bien y mal en los eventos previos, incluso recibimos ayuda operativa en varias actividades del evento. Esta prodigalidad de colaboración y ayuda mutua hubiera sido previamente inconcebible en el mundo de negocios latinoamericano tradicional.
Si, Techstars Startup Week tuvo un gran impacto—pero no es el factor principal que transformó la comunidad y la hizo más colaborativa y funcional.
Entonces, ¿Cuál fue el factor decisivo? El cambio de actitud: dar primero, ser inclusivos con todos y desarrollar una red en lugar de una jerarquía. Esa red no se hace en un día, y ese cambio no se da por imposición externa, crece desde dentro y es un largo camino. Pero hoy, miro la comunidad startup en Lima, y siento una profunda satisfacción. Veo un ecosistema más unido, además de docenas de ciudades latinoamericanas cada vez más cerca a una ebullición de negocios de tecnología.
By Lalitha Wemel, Regional Manager APAC + Matthieu Bodin, Regional Manager Greater China
Techstars Startup Week Taiwan, Powered by Taiwan Tech Arena and in partnership with the Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology, was a five day startup community celebration, which brought together business leaders, funders, founders, and startup enthusiasts to celebrate Taiwan’s and Asia’s thriving innovation community. This week-long celebration hosted 55 events alongside 35 community partners, with 60 international and local speakers, across more than seven venues in the Taipei metropolitan area.
The tech startup ecosystem in Taiwan has grown dramatically in the past five years, with active participation and support from both the public and private sectors. Startup Week Taiwan was a great showcase of what can be jointly achieved when the Taiwan tech startup ecosystem comes together, bringing folks from every corner of the community including universities, startups, ecosystem builders, corporations, and investors.
As cliche as it sounds, our most significant takeaway from the first Techstars Startup Week Taiwan was the program’s ability to “connect the dots”—between people, programs, community and knowledge. Over and over, we heard people describing this as the highlight of the community celebration we had this past week.
Although he originally Intended to only attend one event early in the week, Jeremy Firster, like many other participants, ended up engaging in multiple full-day sessions for the remainder of the week. “I just kept finding new valuable insights on different problems that I’ve been having in my startup that Startup Week Taiwan was able to address and shed new perspectives on,” Firster said.
Echoing Jeremy’s sentiment about the quality of programs and people across the week, Taiwanese startup founder Henry Chang (Fufilo) discovered a whole new network of international and local people that brought new knowledge, perspectives, and networks to help take his his startup forward: “It’s like I’ve been living in a cave, and Startup Week Taiwan helped me see the light.”
Startup Week Taiwan, which took place December 3–7, 2018, offered free learning opportunities to business owners and startup enthusiasts of all kinds. The event is community-driven and offered attendees access to dozens of programs, influential keynote speakers, and funding opportunities. Businesses and entrepreneurs of every type and stage came together over five days to build momentum and opportunity and to activate Taiwan’s startup community further.
“Having a partner like Techstars allowed us to tap into a new resource of experience and talent to channel into Taiwan’s ecosystem. It helped us create a week of high-quality curriculum, content, and takeaways for partners and participants alike. We are looking forward to working with more partners together in the upcoming year to build a strong tech startup community here,” said Rich Fuh, Partnership Director of Taiwan Tech Arena.
From ‘learning how to leverage your LinkedIn network’ to ‘understanding how to get into a global accelerator program’ to ‘expanding your knowledge on different startup communities and topics’, Startup Week Taiwan 2018 aimed to truly showcase the diversity of people and knowledge that Taiwan’s growing startup community has to offer.
Techstars Startup Week Taiwan 2018 was made possible by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) of Taiwan and Taiwan Tech Arena and supported by many generous sponsors, community partners, speakers, and participants. Check out our round-up of the week:
By Chris Heivly, Entrepreneur in Residence at Techstars
There are many aspects of life where more is better, and as such there are many times we employ strategies to maximize the more. A few examples that many of us live by are:
- Priceless Art
- Profound experiences
- Time with loved ones
- Goals in ice hockey (ok, maybe just me)
In terms of startup community building, there are a plethora of activities that local leaders utilize to create lift. (For clarity, I am using the word “activities” in a very broad sense.) These may include:
- Coffee meetups (1 Million Cups)
- Grant programs
- Pitch competitions
- Learn to code academies
- Networking socials
- Startup weekends
- Recruitment events
- Venture funds
- Community blogs
The list literally goes on and on. Developing communities are first challenged to convene the various actors across the ecosystem. This has an immediate positive impact as the tribe begins to organize. Participate in this over a few months and some momentum begins to build.
As a community matures, activities naturally increase as newly motivated leaders step up and attempt to fill various voids. In many mature communities, there may be as many as two to three events every week.
I find the number, the diversity, and the cadence of these activities to be one of the critical signals as to the maturity of a community.
But beware. There is a trap that evolves in some minds that if the first handful of activities start to build some very visible momentum, then more activities would have an even larger effect. Unfortunately there is a ceiling to the number of activities and the subsequent impact.
In terms of startup community building, the more is better strategy has a very visible limit to its effectiveness. Once a critical mass of organizing these basic activities is achieved (and there are different trigger points for different communities), then the strategy should shift to building more meaningful activities.
Looking for a great startup community building event? Find—or organize!—a Techstars Startup Weekend in your community.
Nos dias 07 a 11 de Maio, eu desembarquei em Columbus-OH, para viver minha primeira experiência de Techstars Startup Week fora do Brasil, link do evento.
Columbus é a capital do estado norte-americano do Ohio, localizada mais no lado leste do país. É a cidade mais populosa do Ohio e a 15ª mais populosa do país, e possui 1.836.536 de habitantes em sua região metropolitana. Columbus também é a cidade onde a Gerente do Programa, Christina Christian (quem foi no Techstars Summit Brasil 2017 teve oportunidade de conhecê-la) nasceu, cresceu e se descobriu Community Leader, após participar do seu primeiro Techstars Startup Week na cidade, se tornou voluntária da Techstars e há 3 anos gerencia o programa, dentro e fora do país.
Minha primeira impressão sobre Columbus foi: que cidade aconchegante! Ruas muito arborizadas, pouquíssimos prédios ao redor da cidade (exceto em downtown), vibe leve, pessoas muito receptivas e infra-estrutura que só o EUA tem.
Desembarquei às 22h do dia 07, após 10h de voo. E às 9h do dia 08 já estava no evento, assistindo minha primeira trilha de conteúdo, com a temática do dia Food/Beverage no palco principal e Fashion/Creatives palco paralelo. Veja a agenda completa link
De cara, eu amei o fato dos dias serem distribuídos por temáticas. Pois assim, os empreendedores, curiosos e especialistas das áreas puderam se programar para dedicar seu dia a aprender, ensinar e se conectar com pessoas com interesse em comum.
Amei também o fato de ter imergido em assuntos tão pouco discutidos aqui no Brasil, e ao mesmo tempo tão necessários, de se tornarem comuns, como é lá.
Nesse mesmo dia, eu, a Christina e Kristina (Sales/Partnership team member) saímos para explorar a cidade com outros Community Leaders locais, CL’s que já organizaram ou estavam organizando o Techstars Startup Week. E o fato mais curioso que descobri sobre eles, além deles amarem o evento, que acontece desde 2015 por lá, é que eles têm perfis complementares à organizadores do Startup Weekend. O que eu quero dizer como complementares? Eles são empreendedores com uma maturidade diferente. Eles já têm negócios ou estão a frente de negócios que estão faturando. Então eles podem facilmente ser “mentores” de desenvolvimento de ecossistemas, como também patrocinadores.
Imagina os principais players da sua cidade (seja das entidades que mais apoiam SW’s/Eventos de inovação, como patrocinadores ou mentores) se reunindo para levantar recursos e curar 5 dias de evento? É basicamente isso.
No segundo dia, a temática de todas as trilhas de conteúdos eram dedicadas a Smart Cities & Social Enterprise (levantamento de capital para desenvolver negócios sociais), basicamente. O mais interessante, que vi, na temática de Smart Cities foi que os cases destacados não eram necessariamente digitais. Fundadoras de cafés, foodtrucks, restaurantes saudáveis, etc, compartilharam seus desafios e oportunidades em desenvolver negócios, ocupando menos espaço, com menos complexidade de estrutura empresarial, entregando de forma inovadora e prática para seu público, oportunidades de consumir mais e melhor, ocupando espaços ociosos.
No fim da tarde desse mesmo dia, aconteceu um Pitch Competition, no teatro mais antigo da cidade. Mais de 200 pessoas viram 10 empreendedores fazerem pitchs sobre seus negócios e o primeiro, segundo e terceiro lugar ganharam respectivamente U$25.000, U$15.000, U$ 10.000 promotional ad campaign from Dispatch Media Group. Teve também Community Impact Award: U$5,000 em dinheiro do Columbus Inspires. A iniciativa da comunidade que mais se destacou, na ocasião, Community Leaders que organizaram uma competição Global de Startups que nasceram em Techstars Startup Weekend Women em 2017. A competição aconteceu em fevereiro de 2018, em paris.
Os dias seguintes tiveram assuntos como Technology / Product Marketing/ PR/ Branding e também Sports / Entertainment / Media / AR / VR / Gaming. O que são temáticas abordadas com mais frequência em eventos aqui no Brasil, mas que é sempre legal acompanhar o impacto e crescimento que esses mercados possuem, principalmente aqui no Sudeste do país.
Em paralelo com a programação dos palcos, um espaço dedicado a workshops, chamado CHASE BASECAMP (o banco CHASE é o maior apoiador nacional do Techstars Startup Week e proporciona patrocínio para mais de 10 Techstars Startup Weeks por ano, localmente). Além de temas “sexies” sendo discutido de forma mais prática, com os participantes, se via muita diversidade e inclusão. Ah, nesse espaço também tinha muito café, comida e mesas estrategicamente distribuídas para os participantes se conectarem com eles mesmo ou com seus devices.
Vivendo tudo isso e pensando na realidade do nosso Brasil, uma certeza é: temos talentos, oportunidade, espaço e força de vontade, nós temos que continuar fazendo mais pelas nossas comunidades, em diferentes níveis e estágios: trocando experiências, promovendo o encontro de pessoas e pensando nas pontes entre leaders e feeders, cada vez mais.
O Techstars Startup Week é uma iniciativa linda, cheia de colaboração, conhecimento, negócios… Estamos só no começo! Mais de 75 comunidades já realizaram um Techstars Startup Week e estou muito animada em trazer de volta ao Brasil. Quem topa?
Two years ago, Techstars and UP Global joined forces to allow us to successfully build a global network of entrepreneurs. Since then, we’ve made an effort to ensure Techstars Startup Programs are integrated into the larger Techstars network to provide the most value to our community. One part of this integration is ensuring the same visual family across all the Techstars and Startup Programs brands.
Today we’re excited to announce a new, refreshed brand that helps Startup Weekend, Startup Week and Startup Digest feel part of the Techstars family.
What does a new brand mean for you as a Community Leader?
- Being part of the broader Techstars brand will deliver increased global recognition which will allow you as Community Leaders to further leverage the Techstars global network.
- In regions where Startup Weekend has a stronger presence than Techstars the consistent brand will allow us to more easily support ecosystem development with new accelerators and other programs, through the Startup Weekend brand equity. This will enable you as CLs to further strengthen the growth of your startup community.
- A more consistent feel across all Startup Weekend and Startup Week events will allow you to showcase your connection to the global network of events and build increased brand equity across attendees to support growth.
- More design support with brand packs created for key verticals to showcase a more professional, exciting and consistent look and feel.
- The new way to customize logos really allows organizers to match the design to the personality of the community/event.
- New Startup Weekend Facilitator deck built with your feedback in mind showcasing a cleaner design, increased readability and more engaging content.
We felt it was important the new brand represent the community in the most authentic way. Part of that process was ensuring the design firm we worked with understood what Startup Programs brands mean. This is one reason we chose 23 Design to execute the rebrand. As community leaders themselves, and having previously designed several Startup Weekend custom event logos, they knew the importance of keeping the brand true to the community.
The updated brand is just the start of our process to ensure we’re delivering increased value to our community. Things you can expect from the Startup Programs team coming soon:
- new & improved resources
- brand new facilitator training
- new community sites
- more ways to connect with other CL’s globally
- ….and much more!
All assets and the way we use our refreshed Techstars Startup Programs brand now live on spbrand.techstars.com
For any questions or comments, please contact your regional manager or email@example.com, let’s make sure we continue growing our brand together!
My family moved to San Diego when my grandfather enlisted in the Navy during World War II. After the war, he opened a gas station in Pacific Beach. It wasn’t a tech company, but he was an entrepreneur. And he built his small business with the support of his community.
Today, nearly 70 years later, San Diego is a thriving tech hub, attracting over one billion dollars in venture capital last year. With great universities like UCSD churning out top tier tech talent, and big companies like Illumina and Qualcomm attracting the best engineers to San Diego, the quality of companies starting up and growing in San Diego is at an all time high.
Home to startups in genomics, life sciences, pharma, biotech, cyber security, drones, robotics, and software, the thing that makes San Diego a great place to start a company is the community. If you ask San Diego entrepreneurs what they like best about growing a company here, they’ll tell you that everyone is welcome and San Diego embodies #givefirst.
San Diego Startup Week, a week of entrepreneurial-focused panels and networking events, celebrates and supports this amazing community of entrepreneurs, hackers, makers, and doers that have chosen to set up shop in America’s Finest City.
Over the past few years, San Diego Startup Week has grown from a few hundred people at a handful of events to this year nearly 5,000 attendees attending over 150 events in 15 separate tracks making it one of the largest Startup Week celebrations in the world.
This year, San Diego Startup Week is happening June 19th – 23rd. Techstars is proud to support the San Diego startup community and partner with the organizers of San Diego Startup Week to host a full day of events on Tuesday, June 20th featuring Techstars founders, mentors, Managing Directors, and staff.
Techstars Presents at San Diego Startup Week:
9:30 AM – Power of Networks and Community
John Hill, Network Catalyst, Techstars
10:45 AM – The Art of the Elevator Pitch
Ryan Kuder, Managing Director, Techstars Anywhere
12:15 PM – How to Leverage Big Brands
Panel Moderator: Ryan Kuder
Cody Simms, Executive Director, Techstars
Matt Kozlov, Managing Director, Techstars
1:30 PM – Finding and Engaging with Great Mentors (and Why it’s Important)
Panel Moderator: Ryan Kuder
Techstars founders: Duncan Street, Emily Rotolo
Mentors: Anna Barber, Mark Bowles
3:15 PM – Techstars Mentor Madness
Unfortunately, we’ve got limited space for the Techstars Mentor Madness event. If you’re interested in meeting with Techstars Mentors and Managing Directors, please apply here.
Managing Directors: Anna Barbara, Cody Simms, Matt Kozlov, Ryan Kuder
Mentors: Mark Bowles, Allison Long Pettine, Bach Le, Dave Titus, Ping Wang, Jon Belmonte, Eric Otterson, Bryan Hall
4:30 PM – AMA with Techstars MDs
Panel Moderator: Matt Helt
Anna Barber, Matt Kozlov, Ryan Kuder, Cody Simms
We hope you’ll join us to celebrate the San Diego startup community at one of the 150 events planned for the week. Find out more, and check out the full schedule at sandiegostartupweek.com.
I couldn’t be more excited to announce my new role as the VP of Startup Programs leading both Startup Weekend and Startup Week on behalf of Techstars.
My love of Startup Programs goes back to my first Startup Weekend in Seattle in 2010. I signed up at the last minute not knowing what to expect. Like so many attendees, I was quickly caught up in the magic of the event. Being around like-minded people who just wanted to build things was so powerful. We stayed up half the night building a niche social network (it was 2010 after all). We “won” the pitch competition, but the real rewards were the lifelong friends I made, and the passion and excitement I discovered for what was possible through startup programs.
My winning team at Startup Weekend Seattle 2010 – I’m in the middle
I was lucky enough to join Startup Weekend as the second employee leading marketing and business development. During my time there, Startup Weekend grew from 75 events to 350 a year – an amazing time of growth that also brought us into many new countries and communities that had no programs to help entrepreneurs. As an organizer and facilitator, I heard hundreds of amazing stories of people who were changing their lives and their communities for the better through the power of a weekend.
In 2012, I joined Techstars co-running the Microsoft Accelerator programs and two years later moved to lead program operations for Techstars globally. I created many of the systems currently in place to help us scale, including writing the first playbook on running a Techstars accelerator.
As Techstars accelerator programs expanded internationally I moved to Berlin and have loved spending time meeting entrepreneurial leaders in other communities, and from other cultures.
What I love most about startup programs is our potential to make a difference. We have always worked to be inclusive which means anyone can come to a startup program and find a welcoming community of people who are working towards something better through entrepreneurship. I have seen first-hand how our startup programs truly change the trajectory of people’s lives and I’m eager to find new ways to strengthen and support that.
My vision for the future of startup programs includes growing the worldwide network of community leaders, making it easier to connect to each other and all of the Techstars family, and continuing to make our programs accessible to all. This community is made up of powerful doers, makers and change agents and from the most mature startup communities to those in the earliest stages, I want to widen access, break down barriers, and connect entrepreneurs across the world.
I truly believe that Techstars Startup Programs provide the very best inspirational and educational resources founders need to support them along their Entrepreneur’s Journey and I’m excited to work closely with John Beadle (Startup Weekend), Matt Helt (Startup Week), Jessica Ford (Startup Digest), regional directors and managers to strengthen our global impact.
Techstars is committed to continuing to invest and grow startup programs around the world. I am excited to step up to lead those efforts to grow the programs that I love – and changed my life.
Startup Weekend Copenhagen will be back
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We are looking for great people who want to be part of the journey with Startup Weekend in Copenhagen; people who believe in the community and the idea of paying back or forwards. You have a keen interest in startups and want to help future startups take off, connect with fellow entrepreneurs and give attendees a great weekend experience.
In Fall of 2016, we will add another amazing chapter to the Startup Weekend Book of Copenhagen.
As a person, you are:
- A quick learner.
- Open for new concepts and ideas.
- Committed to success.
- A do’er more than a talker.
- A strong do’er, ideally you have some experience with events.
- Social media fanatic, you love being on social media and make new connections.
- Graphic designer, mad skillz and want to show them off with a global brand, this is your playground.
- Photographer, you got the fastest fingers and can snap pictures in no time, while you have the aim for the memorable photo.
- Community engager, you love talking to people and you can charm your way into the hearts and minds of many.
Send us a line about why you want to join and let’s talk.
Greetings! Here is what you need to know about Boulder Startup Week 2016…
What: Boulder Startup Week is heading into its 6th year! As the original Startup Week, it sets the tone for how startup communities come together to build the next wave of great companies. There will be over 200 free events across 26 tracks open to the entire community to celebrate entrepreneurship!
When: May 16 – 20, 2016
Where: All over Boulder, CO (mostly downtown)
Who: Anyone interested in the startup ecosystem. From first-time entrepreneurs to startup veterans, there’s something for everyone.
Why: Because Boulder is consistently recognized as one of the top destinations to build and grow a startup. The density of well-educated, driven, adventurous people is a recipe for success. The view isn’t bad either…
How: A team of amazing volunteers. Startup Week is possible thanks to a large group of devoted volunteers that pour their heart and soul into making this week exciting, powerful and fun. Financial support from local sponsors helps a whole lot, too!
Here are a few of the events from each day that we are especially excited about:
By 2020, 1 in 6 people will be entrepreneurs. This dramatic change is being influenced by paradigm shifts not only in the way that we work, but also in the way we live. But are we ready for that shift? We will discuss what this could mean for the Boulder startup ecosystem and/or the Global startup community.
Come ready to dig into the ideas and techniques that foster constructive creativity and an interactive and collaborative experience. SheSays leadership and facilitators will guide the room in a participatory workshop. The goal is to provide tools and structure to unlock your own creativity and bring insight to your next innovation challenge.
Head to the backporch of Trident to learn from some of the best accelerators about how their companies are so successful because of strong mentorship. You’ll come away with an understanding of how do I find mentors, what’s that relationship like, what do I do when I have a mentor, and how can I accelerate my startup before getting into an accelerator and keep the momentum going after an accelerator.
Angel investors and VCs often work together on deals, either co-investing or on different rounds in a startup’s journey. Join our panelists to discuss the ins and outs of working together to get these deals done.
Leaders from Techstars and Twitter explore the realities of hiring and retaining the best talent. Do you hire for attitude or aptitude? Is it easier to retain an A-Player than attract one? Come find out!
Find out why three of Boulder’s most active investors are proactively investing in more women. We’ll discuss their motivation and investment criteria, the advantages and challenges of investing in women, and lessons learned. Anyone interested in investing in women or startups in general, increasing workplace gender diversity, or seeking funding from startup investors should attend.
Meet and connect with founders and their teams and be inspired by what’s being built in our community. Startup Showcase features companies from the current Techstars class, Techstars alumni, teams from Startup Weekend, and other community-driven companies.
In the heart of Boulder Startup Week, join the larger community in attending Techstars Demo Night on May 18th. This evening is the culmination of the Techstars Boulder 2016 program and opportunity for the 11 companies to pitch to investors and showcase their business to friends, family and the community.
Three of the most respected names in startups and investing discuss their personal experience with mental health and wellbeing (or lack thereof) and best practices to live a healthier, happier, more productive startup life. Q&A to follow moderated discussion!
Seth Levine of Foundry Group will give a presentation about the state of angel investing in Colorado and what we can do together to make the industry great going forward.
Through compelling interviews, artistic animation and clever flashpoints in popular culture, CODE documentary examines the reasons why more girls and people of color are not seeking opportunities in computer science and explores how cultural mindsets, stereotypes, educational hurdles and sexism all play roles in this national crisis.
Help finish the beautification project on Boulder’s Historic Bandstand! Work alongside Bridge House’s Ready To Work employees to touch up the bench painting project and clear out the painting materials from the bandstand.
Startup Week is a movement that started right here in Boulder! Join founder Andrew Hyde and some special guests on how you can take this model to your great city.
Join us for an evening event to watch dedicated startup Founders from Boulder and around the US reach within the depths of themselves to apply the skill and determination it takes to step in the boxing ring to fight each other all for the sake of raising money for a charity close to their hearts.
Events are filling up fast, so create your schedule today. If an event you really want to attend is full you can still show up, help usher people in, and there just might be room for you after all. And be sure to read up on the Code of Conduct before you roll up your sleeves and dive in!