Startup Grind, based in Mountain View, Calif. seeks to foster entrepreneurship through storytelling.
Derek Anderson founded Startup Grind, which now has chapters in 40 cities and 20 countries around the world.
One of the latest chapters is Startup Grind San Antonio.
The values of Startup Grind are important ones to foster an entrepreneurial environment.
“We believe in making friends, not contacts. We believe in giving, not taking. We believe in helping others before helping yourself. We are truly passionate about helping founders, entrepreneurs and startups succeed. We intend to make their startup journey less lonely, more connected and more memorable.”
The first Startup Grind San Antonio event takes place on April 23 at Geekdom in downtown San Antonio and features a one on one interview with Jason Seats, cofounder of SliceHost and managing director of the TechStars Cloud. The TechStars Demo Day for its second class of 12 companies is Thursday in San Antonio. Seats has helped to launch 23 TechStars Cloud companies. He is also an active angel investor.
Startup Grind also has a chapter in Austin, headed up by Andi Gillentine, co-founder of Whit.li. She launched that chapter last year and has held several successful events at Capital Factory. The next one is April 29th at Capital Factory featuring an interview with Mellie Price, founder of Source Spring and Front Gate Tickets. Startup Grind also has a Dallas chapter.
Geekdom is sponsoring Startup Grind San Antonio and Vid Luther with ZippyKid, a WordPress hosting site, is also sponsoring the event.
Startup Grind San Antonio will kick off at 6 p.m. with pizza and beer. The interview with Seats will take place from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will feature an interactive question and answer session with the audience. So please sign up now and get your tickets, which are limited.
Startup Grind San Antonio’s May speaker is David Spencer, founder of Onboard Systems and Startup Grind San Antonio’s speaker for June is Pat Condon, cofounder of Rackspace.
In February, I was lucky to attend Startup Grind’s annual conference at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. The speakers were fabulous. Here’s a video that shows some highlights from that event.
BY SUSAN LAHEY
Reporter with Silicon Hills News The Austin Startup session on Why Austin skewed aspirational Saturday morning as Bijoy Goswami of Bootstrap Austin and Kevin Koym of Tech Ranch explained that Austin is the city where you can “be yourself,” where people “look you in the eye and smile at you” and where the culture invites diversity of ideas and interests.
To make that last point, Koym discussed different technologies being explored in Austin from Arduino to Wiki Weapon to E-nose which detects and analyzes the chemical makeup of an odor to self monitoring devices.
“There are so many ideas that you wouldn’t see in Silicon Valley because it’s so expensive there you can’t take the risk,” Koym said. “Someone comes up with great idea and you have five teams doing the same thing. What a waste of effort.”
Goswami pointed out that, in Austin, there are myriad experiences to sample and, “if you like it, you hold onto it. If you go to the Continental Club and try two-stepping and you like it, the next time you go back you have a community.”
The session wasn’t entirely aspirational. Susan Davenport of the Chamber of Commerce and Jim Butler, manager at the City of Austin shared all the statistics so often quoted about the strength of the local economy and the growing resources for the entrepreneurial community.
One attendee expressed interest in moving his 12-person company to Austin and asked what first steps would be. Davenport explained that the Chamber can walk new businesses through all the steps from getting registered with the state, looking for office space and real estate for employees as well as introducing business owners to the community, which includes 75 organizations to support entrepreneurship.
“We find out what your needs are and come up with a strategy to meet those needs,” she said. Butler added that part of the city’s job was to help entrepreneurs with information about mentoring and financial resources.
Another question was posed by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur inspired to possibly move to Austin but wondering about VC opportunities and recruiting of talent. Davenport talked about the chamber’s effort to recruit talent and the fact that 72 countries attend SXSW and “we’re taking resumes all through the conference.”
Koym pointed out that Austin is six hours from Monterrey Mexico where development help can be found for $10 an hour and, from his experience, “Mexican developers kick ass.”
The VC question received a more fudged answer.
“We don’t have as strong a picture in the VC class,” Koym said. “I do believe we have more millionaires here per capita than almost anyplace else…if you’re looking for angel investment you can find that. It’s not necessarily in a formalized group…but you can find the guys who say ‘I’m going to take the risk with you.’”