Derek Andersen

videogames · entrepreneur · startups · startupgrind · learning

About Me

Derek Andersen is the founder and CEO of Startup Grind, a community of over 300 Chapters in 120 countries designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. Startup Grind's values of giving, helping others, and making friends have spread across the world. Since 2012 Startup Grind has hosted 5,000 events for more than 200,000 entrepreneurs. In 2009 Derek founded Vaporware Labs, incubating many products including Startup Grind and professional social network Commonred, which was acquired by in 2012. He lives in Palo Alto with his wife and children.

My blog posts

Tutorial: How to Film your Y Combinator Application Video

When we first wrote this guide in 2012, I was on my third application to Y Combinator. Our team made applying for each batch something of a ritual, using it as motivation to grind on our metrics and nail our story. A good application still takes a few hours to get just right, but the hardest thing for most founders -- definitely for us -- was always the video. You'll find dozens of YC pitches on YouTube, but the ones that actually made it to the interview or have actually been accepted are much fewer and further between.

Bringing the Community Online: The New

Five years ago Startup Grind began one evening with nine people as a simple way to pull friends together to help and learn from each other. Three years ago with 5-chapters I started devoting full-time effort to growing it and expanding it around the world. 

Traits That Good Leaders Share

Ever since this post came up, I have been studying some of the ways that we can improve team processes and also improve ourselves as leaders. There are always a traits in successful people that most are willing to share. When it comes to leaders in the world, there are a few that may not be the ones that you immediately think of. Some leaders are not even in the same ballpark as other leaders. In reading, studying and watching leaders (both dead and alive) I've found they are typically not born like this. Of course, many have a natural ability in this area but even those that show early leadership skills do an amazing thing.They work on themselves day in and day out to become better leaders and bosses.  A closer look at what makes different individuals stand apart as a leader has been the subject of hundreds, maybe thousands of studies and papers through the years. It's not hard to find the information if you are one who wants to change or to better yourself in this area.