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On Friday 7/6 I spent the evening in Missoula with a bunch of entrepreneurs. Amy and I were in Missoula for the marathon on Sunday and I decided to do a Meetup talk about Startup Communities. Normally we are pretty anonymous when we show up in a town for a marathon weekend, but I thought I’d try something new this time. Rob Irizarry and the Montana Programmers Meetup made everything happen – all I had to do was show up and talk.
The Meetup was excellent and there’s a great write up on the Start Bozeman blog titled Brad Feld on Building Startup Communities. But before the event, I had dinner with Rob, Ryan Stout, Jake Cook, and Elke Govertsen, the CEO of Mamalode at the Iza Asian Restaurant.
I was totally, completely blown away by Elke and what she and her gang have created at Mamalode. It’s a great example of bootstrapping a startup in a town off the beaten path, just going for it, and building a real company. Elke and Rob are exactly the kind of people I mean when I talk about the need for entrepreneurs to be the leaders of the startup communities.
Lisa Stone, CEO of BlogHer recently dubbed Mamalode The Best Parenting Magazine in America. I’ll add another accolade – best talent for a bunch of entrepreneurs making a video response to Foundry Group’s I’m A VC. In this case, it’s the Mamalode gang doing AC/VC. The picture above is me watching it for the first time over dinner.
Our entire weekend in Missoula was great and when I think back to it, the evening on Friday has inspired me to do Startup Community stuff on the Friday’s prior to marathons going forward. I’ve got three coming up in October – St. George (UT), Burlington (VT), and Detroit. If you are an entrepreneur in any of those cities and want to put something together with me, just drop me an email. And Elke, Rob, and the rest of the Missoula entrepreneurs that I met – thanks!