South Summit was a large highly produced affair with over 7000 attendees, multiple tracks and some impressive keynotes. The Techstars Europe Summit was a more intimate invite only event, a sort of entrepreneur conclave mixing principals, organizers and community leaders from Techstars, Startup Weekend, Startup Next, Startup Digest and Startup Week.
I was invited to the Techstars Europe Summit as a guest of the Blackstone Foundation to tell our Startup Weekend Energy Edition story based on our top ten finish in global editions month or more specifically to tell the details of our groundbreaking approach to producing a Startup Weekend Editions event focused on the energy sector.
Any way you slice it, it was an amazing experience. Both events were incredibly inspiring and empowering. To give you an idea of how seriously Europe and Spain takes entrepreneurship, both the King of Spain and the Prime Minister of Spain spoke at the summit. And if that wasn’t enough, Steve Wozniak was just one of the many amazing speakers there.
At the Techstars event, besides telling our Startup Weekend Energy story, I was also invited to moderate a panel with lead organizers from the other winning editions month events held around the globe.
Talk about diversity, on that panel we had organizers from 5 different countries on 4 different continents who spoke 7 different languages and represented cities with populations that ranged from 50,000 to 22 million people.
To better understand this group, consider that there have been over 3500 startup weekends held around the globe in over 700 cities and 140 countries. Out of the 700+ cities that have held Startup Weekends, 80 cities had the team and sophistication to put on an editions event during the inaugural editions month. Of those 80 events, Startup Weekend selected the top ten events and the lead organizers were invited to Spain to tell their story.
Every one of the editions month organizers is at the top of their game. It was an inspiring bunch that is changing the world. Everyone is a rock star in their own right and it was an incredible honor to be part of that group. I just wish the rest of our amazing organizing team including Nicole Nascenzi and Misty Stutsman could have been there to share the stage.
Beyond that, what left me so energized is that it wasn’t just the Editions Month leaders, every conversation I had with every participant was amazing. The passion, energy and dedication among that group is awe inspiring.
What made those conversations especially empowering was learning how interested this group was in the Civic Ninjas story and seeing how many of our initiatives resonated with them.
Several conversations ended with requests for Civic Ninjas to help bring more focus on civic technology within the European entrepreneur ecosystem.
Some of those conversations even looked at ways HealthAround.Me can help solve community health challenges in Europe by introducing social determinants of health to a broader audience there.
Additionally, it is clear that many European cities face disaster risks that Citizen Power Brigade can help mitigate.
But my biggest realization was that Raw Space can quickly turn into a global phenomenon as multiple leaders are now interested in bringing a Raw Space to their cities.
Thank you Techstars, Startup Weekend and the Blackstone Foundation for making such an amazing, inspiring and empowering event possible. Entrepreneurs are changing the world and the world is starting to notice. And stay tuned because from my perspective the band is just getting warmed up.