24+ Hours with Andrew Hyde #BSW14

24+ Hours with Andrew Hyde #BSW14

Two weeks ago I had a chance to spend 24+ hours with Andrew Hyde at Boulder Startup Week. Startup Week was a great event, over 3,200 attendees with 11 tracks of 71 total events from Monday to Friday. Image

Here’s the play-by-play:

Wednesday

  • 11:30 AM – Arrive in Boulder for Startup Politics, catch the end of Brad Feld and Alicia Robb from Kauffman Foundation and Rep. Jared Polis.
  • Noon – listen to a single pitch over lunch at a vegetarian restaurant (it is Boulder).
  • 1:00 – Big Data Lightening Talks, stop by the end of the robotics session.
  • 2:00 – Check out some new office space, crank out some email.
  • 5PM Failure Track – Wake for companies that once were.
  • 6PMBSW Keynote – Brad Feld and David Cohen “riff” on Boulder and startups. At one point Brad surveys the audience for how many are new, how many locals and asks how many are moving to Boulder (in the enthusiasm, I think of raising my hand).
    • 35% of the attendees are Women! Woot! Some guy after the event makes the point (abrasively) that Women don’t equal diversity. Andrew was super nice as some of the crowd backed away from the dude who made his point (over and over). Celebrate the improvements!
  • BBQ hosted by Pivotal Labs.

Thursday

  • 7:30 AM – Learn how to make homemade corn tortillas, help with scrambled eggs and bacon (BACON! as Andrew would say)
  • BEAR! Really, a bear in the yard.
  • 8:00 AM – Early Breakfast for the organizers of Startup Week Salt Lake and Austin. Discussion on how UP Global will be working on Startup Week.
  • Get ready to go and head out to Controversy of Diversity.
  • 1PM – Half Day with TechStars – meet with mentors, talk to alumni and learn about TechStars from inside their offices in Boulder.
  • Open Office Hours
  • 6PM – Ignite Boulder – quite the cast of 5 minute/20 slide talks. From industrial hemp production, to online dating and don’t forget the talk on BACON!

What typifies these events is the inclusion of the community. Instead of a bunch of different groups doing their own small things, all of the groups laid down their arms (and put aside any past differences) to really move the needle in the activity for the community.

It’s a place for new people exploring the community or startups can find their way around a group of people who have traveled the road before them. It also had a great number of fly ins (30+), the majority of which were offered jobs.

Topics were listed on the schedule and occasionally speakers were named. But there weren’t any titles. Sponsored were thanked, but it didn’t look like a NASCAR event with logos everywhere.

And then there’s Andrew, a fixture around the Boulder startup community. Quick witted, but slow to respond to people like the complainant on diversity. Quick to say hi in a group of people who all remember his name, but where it would be a huge challenge to remember all of the names back. There were lots of hugs and high fives, celebrations for teams doing a great job.

What did I learn from Andrew? Well, it’s still about the community. There are two types of people at these events, those that get the community and those that don’t know they don’t get the community – they are welcome, too!

Community doesn’t have a CEO or VP of Recruitment. You all are the COMMUNITY.

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