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Some folks from the Boulder startup community came together last August to see who could eat the most sushi. I participated in the Sushi Regurge, but (as I promised Amy) stopped once I was full. Actually, I didn’t stop when I was full, I stopped when I couldn’t choke down piece number 55.
While that was going on, a couple guys who met at Boulder Startup Weekend 2 were over on the side catching up and intelligently observing rather than participating in Sushi Regurge. After realizing they both started out their careers working for nonprofits, they started discussing how they hadn’t volunteered at all recently. Being good techies, they whipped out their iPhones and searched the App Store for "volunteer" only to find only some apps for Tennessee Volunteers fans. They looked around at the startup talent in the room, busily wolfing down sushi, and said, "This should exist. I bet we could build it."
What followed was a year-long community project involving over 100 volunteers and zero budget. Applying guerrilla startup tactics, they leveraged many parts of Boulder’s startup community: they went to the iPhone Dev Camp, PodCamp, and BarCamp, got lots of help from the crew at TechStars, listened to feedback at Boulder Open Coffee, got help and direction from EFCO and the Community Foundation, and presented at the Boulder Denver New Tech Meetup. The result was a supportive community who continually stepped up to help when needed and a core team of volunteers who met most Tuesday nights through the spring and summer to write code and build the "business."