A “global community for entrepreneurs,” Startup Grind took over downtown Redwood City for Feb. 21–22, 2017, two days of programming — including breakout sessions, workshops, and startup pitches — on four stages.
Startup Grind hosted attendees from 87 different countries, and making them feel welcome and included was a big priority. (Read our Pre Con proﬁle, “The United Nations of Startups.”) Much of the credit for that goes to Startup Grind’s global directors. “They do an incredible job,” said Michael Gasiorek, Startup Grind’s editor in chief. “They talk to [attendees] year-round, and by the time they get here it’s like they’ve been old friends ﬁnally seeing each other for the ﬁrst time…. The values that we talk about, that’s what makes a difference. The value of giving ﬁrst, the value of making friends — you can see that expressed in our directors.”
Startup Grind set out to double attendance over 2016, and nearly succeeded — from about 3,000 attendees last year to 5,000 this year. Growing the audience meant reaching out to simpatico groups; accommodating them meant adding a fourth stage of programming. “These are communities that are expressive of our values,” Gasiorek said, “and we can’t be happier to welcome them. The solution is to invite such great people that you know people feel like they’re getting a ton of value just by hanging out and speaking with them.”