How Taking a Road Trip Can Make or Break Your Startup

Steve Case's Rise of the Rest Road Trip has inspired us!

Doing a startup is never easy. Here are 5 reasons a road trip can help:

1. Your Startup Community is Insular:

Hey don't take it personally. It is just the social structure of innovation at work. Startup scenes are exploding everywhere. Startup culture is global culture. But unless you are in a place like Silicon Valley, there are relatively few people who are committed to innovation in your home town and even fewer who have it all on the line as a startup Founder like you. New insights and new resources come from loose connections, not the same people you see week in and week out.

2. Road Trip Bonding:

Ever notice that when you are travelling, all of sudden the level of honesty in the conversation goes way up? Members of the Startup Grind community get this at our Annual Startup Grind Conference in Silicon Valley. That trip is more like a pilgrimage. With a Road Trip we expect that you and your fellow travelers will savor more than the free food and drinks. As Founders you will share your journey more than you have ever done before.

3. Reboot the Adventure!

Road trips celebrate the adventure of trying, as much as the victory of arriving at your destination. If you know anything about doing a startup, you know that startup life is not for anyone who thinks that they are going to wake up one day and be a celebrated success. Doing a startup is all about taking the road less traveled. Seeing something that others miss. Solving problems. To succeed is to enjoy the freedom and self actualization while facing the insecurity and stress. Sometimes a change of scenery, even for a few hours can remind you why you chose the startup life.

4. Hone your pitch:

How many times have you been sitting with someone you have know for years, while you answer the question, "What do you do?" to someone new and then your old bestie says ... "That is not how I have been describing it." Getting out of the building with a road trip forces you to think on your feet. Interact with Founders who don't know your story. Figure out what resonates about your startup before you step in front of customers or investors.

5. See the World Differently:

Some of the biggest rewards from a road trip will hit home after you get home. It does not need to be a cross-country or international trip that brings a new appreciation for your home town or a new passion for standing up for the changes that you want to see happen to make your startup ecosystem even better.

At Startup Grind Toronto we have been thinking in the spirit of TEDx and we have come up with a kind of unofficial, totally unsanctioned Rise of the Restx Road Trip.

On May 28th we are inviting startups from Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo and across Ontario to join Startup Grind Toronto as we "get out of the building" with a Road Trip to Buffalo to check out 43North/Z80 Labs and Design Innovation Garage (dig) coworking space and take in a Startup Grind Buffalo Fireside Chat with Empire Genomics, Anthony Johnson.

We think our local Founders will come to think of Buffalo as part of a mega-region and gate way to the US market.

The Startup Grind Road Trip idea was one of those informal ideas born at Startup Grind's global Annual Conference while Startup Grind Buffalo's Director, Eben Piazza and I enjoyed a cold beverage together. I think Startup Grind Guangzhou Director, Carel van Apeldoorn was part of that conversation. Who wants to go on a road trip to China?