Derek Andersen is the co-founder of Startup Grind and of Bevy. in 2017, Startup Grind spun out our community events software to create what is now Bevy. Derek has bootstrapped Startup Grind for 10 years and just announced a Series C round for Bevy, bringing their valuation to $325 million.
Alongside one of his investors, Kobie Fuller of Upfront, hear how Derek’s done it -- what he’s learned both bootstrapping and funding and perhaps more importantly, what he would never do again.
Derek Andersen is the Founder & CEO of Startup Grind, a 400,000 person entrepreneurial community with 200 chapters in 85 countries run by more than 1,000 volunteers. Startup Grind's mission is to help every entrepreneur in the world. It's core values are giving before you take, helping others first, and making friends. Derek Andersen spent four years in product management at Electronic Arts working on games like The Godfather, Burnout, The Sims 3, and Mirror’s Edge. He left EA in 2009 to start Vaporware Labs, a product incubator which mostly failed but built products including Commonred which was acquired by Income.com in 2012, and Startup Grind. After running Startup Grind as a side project for 2 years, Derek turned his full attention to scaling it from 3 chapters to 200 chapters today. In 2015 Startup Grind will host 1,200 events for 75,000 entrepreneurs. He currently lives in Palo Alto, California but has lived eight years outside the U.S. in France, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand, and the Cook Islands.
Kobie is a partner at Upfront Ventures, the largest and longest-running venture firm in Southern California. He joined the firm in 2016 and has led investments in companies including TheWaveVR, Cordial, Bevy, The Mighty and MetaCX. Kobie has deep experience in SaaS businesses, marketing technologies, and emerging technologies including VR and AR (he was an early personal investor in Oculus which was acquired by Facebook for $3BN). Kobie joined Upfront from Accel, where he was involved in investments including Campaign Monitor, UserTesting, AdRoll, and Invoca. Prior to Accel, Kobie was the Chief Marketing Officer at REVOLVE, one of the largest global fashion ecommerce players based in Los Angeles. Earlier in his career, Kobie helped found OpenView Venture Partners and was an investor at Insight Venture Partners where he sourced notable early investments in Exact Target (acquired by Salesforce for $2.5B) and Instructure (NYSE: INST.) Kobie received an AB in Economics from Harvard University where he was also captain of the track team and a multi Ivy League champion.