With the glow of a San Francisco tan fading from my skin, I figured now would be a great time to draft up my thoughts on the 5th annual Startup Grind Global Conference.
For those not in the know, founded in 2010 in Silicon Valley, Startup Grind is the largest independent startup community in the world. They boast a membership of about 1.5M entrepreneurs in over 250 cities. They nurture startups and those that support startups in over 250 cities, across 105 countries through a partnership with organizations such as Google for Entrepreneurs.
What this does is create a huge repository of knowledge, case studies, and contacts for startups and entrepreneurs the world over, giving them every possible chance to succeed. After meeting the group last year, I realized how closely the goals of Startup Grind aligned to Kapowza’s and we’ve been in cahoots ever since. Their values are also pretty cool:
Kapowza’s been a big supporter of the Startup Grind Columbia Chapter since 2017 and I’ve started going to the recently re-launched Startup Grind Baltimore events. I had heard of the Global Conference before but with the proximity close to SXSW, wasn’t able to attend last year. This year, I made it and spent three days in Redwood City, basking in California sunshine, enjoying my first tastes of In-N-Out, and connecting with some of the top startups from the Startup Grind network
Aside from a great roster of companies that appeared in the Exhibition and Networking tents, the crux of the conference revolved around an awesome set of speaker engagements and panel discussions. So instead of boring you with the typical list of things to do and things to avoid, since the list would be: Do everything, avoid nothing, I instead leave you with some inspirational quotes I captured during the sessions.
“The way we’re doing most things nowadays is wholly unsustainable. Everything will be different in twenty years.” - Marc Tarpenning, Co-Founder of Tesla, talking about the evolving shape of manufacturing.“Entrepreneurs go looking for problems. (Within the context of your business), make sure the problem you’re solving is worth solving. Don’t just be a feature.” - James Park, Co-Founder + CEO of FitBit, on the most important thing to keep in mind when launching your business.“Develop a routine that works for you and your situation. Taking advice can only get you so far, your best bet is knowing yourself.” - Isaac Saldana, Co-Founder of SendGrid, on when’s the best time to take your startup public.“Everyone should make time for marketing and as startups, you’re not a natural marketer.” - John Foreman, VP of Product Management at MailChimp, echoing something we’ve talked about before; knowing when’s the best time to bring in a marketing partner vs. trying to learn to do it yourself.“Don’t just invest in human capital, but the technology that supports it.” - Henry Kaestner, Managing Partner of Sovereign’s Capital on common mistakes startups run into after hiring.“Rarely are great entrepreneurs experts in the field they are in when they start out; they’re just masters at rapid learning.” - Mike Jones, Founder & CEO at Zendesk, on the what makes entrepreneurs successful.“There are more than 2.4 billion gamers on the planet, more people watched a championship for League of Legends than Nascar and the NHL. Passion drives the growth.” - Leo Olebe, Global Director of Games Partnerships at Facebook on why eSports is the next billion-dollar industry.
And this gem from someone I overheard pitching at the networking tent:
“We’re looking to disrupt disruption with a disruptive technology.” - Anonymous