One year ago exactly I decided to take on the challenge of starting Startup Grind in Mexico. The main reasons that made me choose this community were:
- Their values are clear and they can be easily summed up in one question: How can we help?
- It’s a long-term commitment to better our communities.
- They strive to create the necessary conditions that encourage an ecosystem that allows entrepreneurs to succeed.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this community, Startup Grind is a global organization that was born in Silicon Valley in 2010; it’s main objective is to educate, connect and inspire entrepreneurs mainly through the monthly events where key players of the startups ecosystem are invited as guests to a fireside side chat with entrepreneurs. Currently, we are in 100 cities and 42 countries around the world.
This way we have gotten successful startups, investors and directors of public and private funds to share with our community their key successes, failures and advice so that we can generate a collective knowledge and eventually create and develop ecosystems that encourage and support new entrepreneurs. These events are recorded on video and then shared with the public without any limitation.
So far in 2014 for our Monterrey and Mexico City Chapters, we have hosted 16 events ourselves and 6 events within entrepreneurship conferences. We have impacted over 1,600 people directly and about 3,670 people indirectly digitally. We have had guests with a wide variety of profiles such as Paul Ahlstrom, Enrique Jacob Rocha, César Salazar, Pepe Villatoro, Santiago Zavala and Andrés Barreto, to name a few.
Some of the acomplishments we had at Startup Grind Mexico are that we brought together a company from Mexico and Australia, we made 15 appointments between investors and startups, we managed to provide 9 startups with an advisor/mentor, we provided more than 35 intros and finally, we brought accelerators, funds and entrepreurs to new regions in the country and closer to the local entrepreneurs.
Professionally, I have discovered the importance of communities not just to create value in the ecosystems, but to benefit those who participate in them.
We’ve seen successes and failures and how achieving a public and private initiative can help an ecosystem grow, but it is not the fundamental component.
Personally, I have met incredible people. Not just in my country, elsewhere as well, among Startup Grind city directors and other organizations that, like us, believe in helping others. I’ve been lucky enough to have gotten two new family members, Derek and Francisco. I have learned from both, laughed, discussed, shared opinions, problems and projects.
Finally, this first year I hope is the first of many. In Mexico, by the end of this year we will have 4 or 5 chapters (to impact up to 200-400 entrepreneurs a month) and we hope that in 2015 we can make that at least 10 and become the second country with most chapters after the United States.
I would like to thank, firstly, the communities of startup founders, with whom I share an interest in our ecosystem and the experience of working everyday to build a startup. To the great community of Startup Grind, it is a privilege to be part of this group where the problem generally is that there are so many people interested in helping, supporting and giving advice. I’m proud of that! And, of course, to the family (I'm taking the liberty of including Derek and Francisco in this category) which has to tolerate our craziness, frustrations and late-nights (most with little cause), which understands that sometimes we get a little intense about a subject and that sometimes we forget or repeat things. And an extra thanks to them because when we make a mistake they are the first to lend a hand to bring us back on.
Finally, I am absolutely positive that if you believe in helping others, in proving yourself before asking for anything, and if are willing to work hard to acomplish your goal, most likely you can become a great member of your ecosystem.