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Startup Grind: What I’ve Learned, Ten Years Later

Derek Andersen
Co-Founder at Startup Grind
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2020 Startup Grind Global Conference
February 11, 2020, Redwood City, CA, USA
2020 Startup Grind Global Conference
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About speaker

Derek Andersen
Co-Founder at Startup Grind

Derek co-founded Startup Grind, a community of over 600 Chapters in 150 countries designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. Since 2012 Startup Grind has hosted 7,000 events for more than 250,000 people.

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About the talk

Derek Andersen, Founder + CEO of Startup Grind/Bevy reflects back on his experience and takeaways with Startup Grind 10 years later.


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Welcome to Startup grind excited to have you 12 12 years ago. I started to plot my way out of my corporate job. I had become dissatisfied with my inability to have a huge impact to be truly creative and to get the ideas out of my head that seem to keep me up at night. So before work, I started to go to Starbucks at 7:30 in the morning just a few miles from here down the street before heading to my real job at 9 a.m. Working all day and then going home and working on my ideas again. About 18 months into this

process. My wife came to me one evening and said that she was pregnant with our first of what is now for children and Amelia. How wonderful. This news was because this seemed like the perfect time to quit my job. What's the concern a basically everyone that knew me love me or had any interactions with me 6 weeks after our son was born in December 2009 the middle of the Great Recession. I quit my job and took the lead and once the adrenaline wore off reality really sunk in. Being alone in trying to create a future for your family like probably many of you have faced. I faced so

many challenges. I was totally unequipped to be prepared for see big companies spend tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars training their employees to be ready for the jobs that they need them to do. But in a startup you have nothing no one cares what you're working on except for your parents and one of your sisters, Six months after leaving my job and 10 years ago this month a friend and I talked about creating a forum to solve this problem that we had for ourselves people could brainstorm

people would help each other. They would learn they would share ideas and that's when startup Ryan was born. We didn't take pictures or video of the first event because it was never meant to be anything. It was just good people getting together and helping each other push their companies and careers ahead. The first event was a success so we did it again and we did it again, but six months in after one event. I remember vividly sitting in my car. For 5 or 10 minutes and thinking what a waste of time startup grind was. Only four

people had come to the event that night and two of them. Were me and the co-founder. It's really seem that no one still cared about what we are working on to make matters worse. That's the same month. I had launched a product that I had raised several hundred thousand dollars of Angel funding on that is completely flopped. All indicators pointed towards shutting starve grind down and starting with a totally clean slate. But something inside said just keep going a little bit longer and try harder and six weeks later. We hosted

our next event in 40 people showed up. They were all strangers but many of them became my friends and they're still my friends today. And that was what created a small spark that started to light a fire. The next event has 60 and then a t and then a hundred and then 150 people love the education. They love the camaraderie in the authenticity of was star Brian was about We need once once one of the speakers came and he had a great experience. He said please come come to my office for lunch and I went up to Sand Hill

Road is beautiful office. And he said do you know what makes our brain special? He said it was the values. He said star Brown was about giving more than you take it was about helping others before you help yourself and it was about making friends. I said, of course, it was wasn't that what every Community to every event was about. He said phatically know the values of Starbright is what made it special. people attending the events of Silicon Valley start to come up to me afterwards that says they love we're doing they loved our ethos in our values because silicon Valley's of a sort of

Melting Pot the rest of the tech world people would come into town and then they would be going home and many of them would say nothing like this existed in their city and it first I I sort of didn't believe it but people were so persistent saying could we do this where I'm from that eventually we allowed them to need to early Pioneer chapter directors started taking star find home to go to their communities and it start popping up all across the world. first we had five cities then 10 then 20 then we got to 30 and we realized we have all these incredible people all

around the world but none of them know each other so brainstorming late one night in my garage where we worked we came up with this idea, which was felt like was the easiest thing to convince everybody to come to Silicon Valley to meet we decided to throw a big event. We invited all of our past best past speakers to speak people like Clayton Christensen people like Patrick Collison in & Mirror Co they all came they all gave their time. So did the directors and that was the first Global conference this week. We will host our 8th conference. From there. We were to 50 cities and then

$150 then $100 hundred-fifty in chapters start showing up in Far parts of the world places. We never dreamed this sort of people actually live in work. We had chapters in Rwanda and in Tel Aviv in Palestine in Mongolia in Ghana and Cape Town in Guangzhou in tayron, Detroit turano Singapore, Seattle, London, and so many more Today start up Ryan has over 600 chapters in more than a hundred countries. We have more than a thousand volunteers that run these chapters in their City. Everything we do is

grown locally if they're chapter directors or members of chapter chapter teams for sauerkraut in the room. Would you please stand without these people start buying is impossible. We posted 10,000 events in educating more than a half-million people in person every month. We host an event in 250 different cities giving access to literally billions of people to be part of startup grind into and to help get their start up the education that it needs and themselves the education that they need Millions have joined our Network and get educated and connected to start

Brian. Com. We're just getting started. For me personally. The impact of start run has had on. My life is something it's hard to put into words when people ask about what success has come from startup grind. I often point to start right itself before Starbright. I had absolutely no idea how to build a company as evidenced by my terrible track record before shark ride, but every month after I went to an event and listen to a speaker, I would go home and I would apply to suggestions into learnings that speaker in every month our company would grow stronger. I met the most incredible

people to start crying when I began in 2010. I was an unknown person Silicon Valley with few connections and multiple feel companies, but 10 years later. I with the help of thousands of people have created Global community of Millions. A few years ago. I co-founded a company called Betty and we take the learnings and the methodology of what we've done it started crying and apply to some of the biggest companies in the world to help them build their communities. People that don't understand what we do or they don't understand start of people. They often

tell me how baffle there are the we use the word grind like it's so negative. Why can't you be more positive? And you know startup Ryan is not negative. The start of crying is not working is not about working to work. It's it's it's not about it's not about grinding yourself to the Bone and ruining your family and your friendships in the world in the pursuit of money and professional success. There's no point. I have learned in gaining the world. If you lose your soul in the process see the true

unicorns. I believe are not the companies that have big valuations, but actually the true unicorns are the people who successfully steal their business and their lives at the same time. See what sort of brain is Ashley about it's about improving yourself every single day. It's about creating a better future for the world. It's about taking care of your family in the families of the people on this Earth Journey with you. The startup rhyme is about giving

more than you take it's about helping others before you help yourself and it's about building genuine friendships. Let me just close by saying if you haven't been part of the first 10 years for sale. Where the heck have you been? But I hope you'll be with us for the next 10 startup. Brian can help you the same way. It has helped me and countless others around the world. If you're in the pursuit of your own personal startup grind, we will always be there to support you. No matter who you are no matter where you live in the meantime. Just don't forget keep

reminded. Thank you so much for being here.

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