The following is an article by UP Global President and Startup Weekend CEO Marc Nager, originally published this morning on the Huffington Post.
Just last week, Startup Weekend and the Startup America Partnership announced the launch of UP Global, a new organization that aims to foster entrepreneurial communities and provide action-based programs for entrepreneurs.
UP Global will continue to house the proven Startup Weekend brand and program alongside Startup Digest and NEXT, while also creating a space and connective force for additional programs, including the integration of the Startup America Partnership’s community platform and their Corporate Connections program. Last week’s announcementgarnered plenty of National press, but it is necessary to address how this relates to the entrepreneurial community first and foremost. The merging of these resources is, after all, in an effort to better support entrepreneurs and their ecosystems.
So what does this really mean for entrepreneurs worldwide?
Ultimately, the formation of UP Global is a response to the growing demand for more cohesion around existing programs and leadership in the entrepreneurial space — particularly at a community level. UP Global board member Brad Feld has written extensively on the topic of Startup Communities, and we’ve seen first hand through Startup Weekend and the Startup America Partnership that these entrepreneurial communities can truly exist anywhere, and we can make that process far more natural and effective by simply connecting the right people and tools. Feld says, “UP Global is a logical next step in the creation of vibrant entrepreneurial communities around the world. I’m a huge believer in consolidating efforts in the non-profit between complementary organizations. This one was a natural and logical one and I’m excited about what’s coming up.”
Startup Weekends have been hosted in over 110 countries around the world, and we’ve seen that there is a strong international demand for the community-building methods practiced by the Startup America Partnership — and with Startup Weekend’s existing resources and programs, we envision better access, connectivity, and local leadership in every community. Having established that the notion of entrepreneurship is an innate human path and transcends borders and environments, we believe that providing the framework for stronger communities and tools will only bolster an already existing movement that is cropping up on every corner of the globe.
In a recent post about the launch, Derek Koch, who serves as Vice-Chair for Startup Connecticut and as a Global Facilitator for Startup Weekend, says,”People around the state are really excited about using UP as a platform to further intensify and strengthen the support for entrepreneurs in our community.”
Similarly, Startup Weekend Organizer and Startup America Regional Champion Mital Patelsays, “The partnership to form UP Global will take the view that the existing programs (Startup Weekend, Startup Digest, NEXT, Corporate Connections) are all core programs that have been validated and tested in local communities, but there are others that can be tested and grown with the same action-based learning approach. The key is that they have to start from the ground up, in local communities.”
Ultimately, it is this grassroots, ground-up energy Patel describes that UP Global aims to motivate and support. It is this type of approach that has carried numerous entrepreneurial communities thus far and that will continue to propel the movement on a global scale.
Learn more at www.up.co