It has been 26 months since I sent a fairly random email to the founder of Startup Grind, Derek Anderson, letting him know that I wanted to help out in Seattle (@seattlegrind). It is now 2 years old. Since then the Seattle chapter has had 23 events, over 1,600 attendees and recorded 20+ hours of video of the fireside chats, from the likes of Dan Levitan, Liz Pearce, Robert Scoble, Matt Erhlichman, Adam Tratt, and Michelle Goldberg. It has been great for me to be able to talk with these people and get answers to questions that many startup founders are scratching their heads over.
I have met so many talented and passionate people along the way and seen some great ideas and some not so great ideas. I have learned from many of these people, as I often will grab a coffee, water in my case (I don’t drink coffee), to learn about someone or their business. I have been lucky enough to see Purplewall, Rebls, Send, Shippable and others launch. But, what is also amazing is what has happened outside of Seattle. Startup Grind now has over 120 chapters around the WORLD and has had 100,000 attendees. Startup Grind is adding new chapters every week, somewhere in the world. It is truly exciting to be involved.
Also, we have created an annual Startup Grind event, in Mountain View, CA. For the past 2 years, it has quickly become a must-attend for startup entrepreneurs. Last year we had all kinds of big names there; Clay Christensen, Dave McClure, Steve Blank, Mark Suster and on and on and on. More importantly, there were about 800 people from all parts of the world in attendance, learning, connecting and getting inspired. It also is a place where the directors from many of the chapters around the world spend a day sharing ideas, getting to know one another and see how we can better help the entrepreneurial community. This group of people from different cultures, regions, and backgrounds is truly inspirational for me, as they are all successful in some fashion, they all care deeply about the startup ecosystem in their respective regions and everyone has something positive to offer to other humans.
I look forward to the next 2 years, meeting with entrepreneurs, helping them meet others, seeing them get funding and altering the way we live. Startup Grind Seattle will continue to grow and attract both great speakers, sponsors, and attendees. And with the help of volunteers; Sheila Harris, Mike Ross, Kate Hawk, I get to enjoy each month, even more, meeting new friends and seeing old ones. Thank you, guys.
I have also been very lucky to work with Seed IP, Elance, and SURF for many months. They have supported the event with money, time and effort. Seed IP has been especially supportive and has been at EVERY event that we have had in Seattle. They truly care about helping startups and are great people, besides being great attorneys.
Thanks to everyone who has supported the Grind from the very beginning; Red Russak, Brett Greene, Rand Fishkin, Bob Crimmins, Greg Gottesman, and Jonathan Sposato and especially all the attendees that keep coming and enjoying the people, food, beer, wine, and connections.