In 2014, I* was in Downtown Las Vegas. This location is not the glitzy sunset strip where most people spend time when they are in Las Vegas, but the historic business district that was undergoing a massive renovation under the leadership of Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos. Dead buildings were coming back to life, and Las Vegas no longer ended at Fremont Street.
UP Global, a nonprofit dedicated to building startup communities that is now part of Techstars, was having its annual summit. I was on the board of UP Global at the time and over 500 entrepreneurs from 70 countries were in attendance. Organizers from all over the world of the three UP Global programs—Startup Weekend, Startup Week, and Startup Digest—were meeting each other and participating in sessions about how to run their programs, build their startup communities, and spread the ethos of startups and innovation.
The event was in full swing with energy and excitement around startups in the air. While English was the dominant spoken language, the body language, discussions, and personal styles of the attendees gave the event an unmistakable international feel. The gathering was a diverse collection of people of all ages from around the globe.
I participated in a few discussions on startup communities, signed a bunch of copies of my book, Startup Communities, and smiled for an endless stream of selfies taken with community organizers from all over the world. The weather was hot, and the emotions were warm. ...