What is Cross Campus you ask?
Well, “Cross Campus is an engine of creativity and innovation, housed at our state of the art 11,000 square foot space at 820 Broadway in the heart of Santa Monica. Our goal is to inspire creative collisions through space design, learning platforms, and extraordinary events, fostering member-driven collaboration that ultimately leads to game changing ideas and enterprises.
As a member of Cross Campus, you are part of a select community of doers. You enjoy a work-space that is designed to inspire and built to support the needs of entrepreneurs who aim high. Our classes & events give you the opportunity to participate in a dynamic learning experience that goes far beyond the norm.”
Pretty much sums it up.
How Should We Measure Success In Our Startup Community?
I’ve learned a lot in my 3 short years of organizing Triangle Startup Weekend (TSW). For one, you can get a lot done in 54 hours if you just focus on doing things rather than talking about what you plan to do. All of the Triangle Startup Weekends we’ve organized have been successes, each building on the previous and becoming a more efficient and impactful event for the startup community.
This past weekend, we hosted TSW EDU, North Carolina’s first Startup Weekend focused on spurring innovation and reform in the education space. Based on feedback from attendees, coaches, judges, sponsors, other organizers, and community members that followed along on Twitter, the event was a success. But how do we define success? Better yet, how should we define success?
How do we define success?
The first question I get after TSW usually relates to how many companies were formed or how many of the companies survived and are still operational businesses. How many got funding? How many are still around?
That’s understandable – it’s very human to think of the companies themselves as a measure for how successful TSW is at impacting our startup community. Don’t get me wrong, they’re definitely part of the equation. And there’s nothing worth hiding – both of the winners of TSW since 2011 are still around, operational, and joined by other companies that launched during TSW.
How should we define success?
I can tell you that after years of organizing TSW, the companies themselves are far from the most important measure of the event’s success. Just as website visits aren’t the best measure of success for a startup, the companies that form at TSW don’t tell the entire story worth telling.
When we tell people about what role TSW plays in the startup community, we start with the fact that it is one of the few events that engages the entire entrepreneurial stack. Brad Feld explains the importance of this engagement in Startup Communities and if he were to touch on the metrics that matter to a startup community in Startup Metrics, he would probably focus on more than just the companies that form out of Startup Weekends.
It’s common for attendees to meet future co-founders and find jobs. In fact, last year, one of our participants drove from Arkansas because his fiancée was starting graduate school in the Triangle and he needed a job. He walked away from the weekend with strong leads and found a job shortly thereafter.
One of TSW’s past mentors and judges, Richard White, CEO of UserVoice, came to TSW two years ago and points to the energy and engineering talent he saw as the sole reason he decided to open an engineering office in downtown Raleigh.
It’s those types of things that we should be talking about when we talk about startup events.
Just as we have done (or should do) in our businesses, we should rethink how we measure success in our startup community and ask ourselves whether we’re using metrics that matter or merely vanity metrics.
Broadly, TSW EDU introduced entrepreneurship to educators, and education to entrepreneurs. It’s very likely the EdTech community in the Triangle will point back to TSW EDU as a tipping point. It’s too soon to measure all of the things that will come from TSW EDU, but I can tell you the companies that form from the weekend are just the tip of the iceberg. And they’re impressive enough in their own right.
The world is flattening before our very eyes.
Now more so than ever, we’re seeing innovation come from every corner of the globe. The number of startup incubators, funds and activities are all growing at a pace faster than anyone can keep up with. Naturally, this begs the question,
“What’s going on in the global startup community?”
The answer to this question is our mission.
World Startup Report is a social mission intended to document and connect the global startup community. Championed by world-class startup organizations and individuals, World Startup Report aims to cover every startup ecosystem’s culture, market, players, challenges and innovations. Furthermore, World Startup Report plans to create a network of resident volunteer ambassadors who will help others – locally and globally, further understand and integrate with local startup ecosystems.
Over the next 9 months, World Startup Report will be traveling to 29 countries and 36 cities in 6 continents. Here’s our plan and itinerary:
“This is a great opportunity for the world startup community to learn about each other beyond just numbers and names. What makes each community unique and how can we help one another? If we can bring accessible and actionable information to the relevant entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers, it could one day become the foundation for a better global startup community tomorrow,” says Bowei Gai, Founder & Chief Ambassador of the World Startup Report.
Major thanks goes out to 500Startups, StartupWeekend, StartupDigest, LinkedIn, Boingo, XComGlobal, AngelHack, FlightFox, Brad Feld, Dave McClure and hundreds more that are volunteering their time, energy and enthusiasm to make World Startup Report a reality. The trip wouldn’t be possible without all of your help!
Join our 9-Months, 29-Countries and 36-Cities Journey to Meet the Global Startup Community. The Journey Begins on 1/1/2013.
Let’s go change the world!
- The World Startup Report Team