Early last week we launched a new way to expand the FounderDating Network that calls on communities to rise up, rally together and demand we help unlock more entrepreneurship there. We want this to be a bottom-up effort to ensure that communities are excited about the network and truly value bringing the right people together before we make a long-term investment there. Ultimately, we’ll be anywhere entrepreneurship is alive and well but this helps prioritize. We really didn’t know what to expect. Sure, there were some guesses as to which cities would take the lead (hello, Boulder, anybody home?), but more than anything we were/are open to being surprised.
And we were. Portland is rising up, as are D.C. and Detroit. However, Las Vegas was first to impress. In less than a week #Vegastech) banded together louder and more cohesively than any city thus far and made things happen.
As we’ve told people that Vegas was first to unlock most of them have said something like: “Vegas, really?” or “Oh, so you got Tony (Hsieh) to tweet about it?”
While I appreciate the vote of confidence that I have Tony Hsieh on speed dial (sidenote: he should be pumped), this was an entirely bottom-up effort. The tech community in Vegas, of which I knew a total of 1 person prior to a week ago, got excited. And it wasn’t 1 or 2 people, it was 10+ consistently tweeting, sharing, posting blogs, announcing at meetups and hackathons and putting the call out for entrepreneurs to help themselves and the community.
There is no shortage of talk about how to foster entrepreneurship outside of Silicon Valley. I don’t want to pretend that I know the exact recipe or that there is only one key ingredient, but I do know that what just happened in Vegas should NOT stay in Vegas.
Will your city be next?