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As Boulder Startup Week 2014 comes to an end, I have been reflecting on the power of startup communities today.
When I wrote Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City, I made some assertions about how to build startup communities and what the impact of them would be on society. As I sit here at the end of a week pondering everything that is going on in the world around startup communities, I believe I have vastly underestimated their potential impact. And this makes me feel very happy.
Startup Week is a great example of an activity and event that I talk about in my Boulder Thesis. It was also another creation from Boulder, just like Startup Weekend, Techstars, and the Boulder Thesis. Andrew Hyde, the founder of Startup Weekend, was also the founder of Startup Week. After a hiatus of a few years, Andrew came back to run Boulder Startup Week. But he is also about to do something magical with Startup Week – look for more on that soon. And, if you enjoyed Boulder Startup Week, go check out Fort Collins Startup Week which is happening from 5/20 – 5/25 and looks awesome.
This reflection led me to think about how to wire up the largest startup community in the world. Geography is one boundary, but the Internet allows us to create a global startup community that is a network of startup communities. UP Global, which I’m on the board of, is doing just that.
You might know UP Global by the names of the two organizations that combined to form it – Startup Weekend and Startup America Partnership. This combination happened about a year ago and the progress in the last year has been remarkable.
I encourage you to take a look at the UP Global 2013 Impact Report. It’s 28 slides and when I looked at it early today it blew my mind. Here are a few key metrics:
- 310,000 alumni and volunteers
- 4,500 mentors
- 132,000 businesses
- 87,000 developers
- 39,000 designers
- 501 cities
- 126 countries
Go look at the UP Global 2013 Impact Report. It’s insanely wonderful how many people and startup communities this organization has touched.
The network is getting incredibly strong and powerful. I believe that networks are now more important in our society than hierarchies. Sure – we’ll have hierarchies forever, but I’m going to spend as much of my time as possible in the network. And for everyone who is part of the network of people engaging in startup communities, thanks for all your efforts on this mission!
This week is Boulder Startup Week 2014.
If you have read my book Startup Communities, then you know Andrew Hyde was the founder of Boulder Startup Week. After a hiatus of a few years, he’s back this year as one of the organizers of BSW 2014.
I’m around all week. Following are the events I’ll either be attending or speaking at.
- 8am – 9am: Boulder Open Coffee Club
- 10am – 1130am: Startup Politics: Who Needs It: I’ll be doing a panel with Congressman Jared Polis.
- 3pm – 4pm: Jane Miller Interview: I’ll be interviewing Jane about her new book, Sleep Your Way to the Top (and other myths about business success) that is the second book being published by FG Press.
Thursday (5/15): 8am – 9am: Controversy of Diversity
Come join me for some or all of these. And have an awesome BSW 2014!
Some time ago a group of entrepreneurs including my partner Seth Levine came together to talk about how to promote entrepreneurship in Colorado and celebrate the fact that entrepreneurship has become a huge part of the Colorado business ecosystem. The result of that discussion was Colorado Entrepreneurial By Nature – a grass roots branding campaign whose goal is to get Colorado entrepreneurs to rally around their shared love of our state and our entrepreneurial culture.
Colorado – Entrepreneurial by Nature is officially launching today in conjunction with Denver Startup Week. I’m awesomely proud of both efforts – they are great examples of how a Startup Community can be led by entrepreneurs. Both efforts are grass roots, totally network based, and driven by entrepreneurs. Denver Startup Week looks completely awesome – the schedule of events is just tremendous.
Go get the badge and fly it proudly on your site if you are a Colorado entrepreneur!
Boulder is full of software engineers, but we need more. A lot more. So, several local companies pitched in some bucks and the organizers of Boulder Startup Week are buying plane tickets for five people to come out between May 18th and May 22nd. If you don’t know about Boulder Startup Week, take a look at the killer agenda.
If you are a software engineer, send ryanwanger at gmail a note containing the following:
1. An answer to why you are interested in coming out to Boulder.
2. A resume or examples of your work.
3. Your phone number.
The deadline for applying is 12pm MST on May 9th. Please don’t apply unless you are available to fly out to Boulder May 18th – 22nd (with a little +/- flexibility). Also, you have to be in the US already as the organizers can’t afford to fly you from outside the US. And, they’ll help you find a place to stay as long as you aren’t allergic to couches.
Andrew Hyde has decided to organize another Boulder Startup Week on May 4 – 8, 2010. Tons of folks are already committed to host events including Trada, Pivotal Labs, Everlater, QuickLeft, TechStars, Napkin Labs, and SurveyGizmo. The Boulder New Tech Meetup and Ignite Boulder is also happening that week.