The atmosphere was an intoxicating mix of optimistic vibrancy and hard-core business growth strategy. People were literally everywhere. Tech guys from Google, starry-eyed college kids and professionals looking to infuse some vitality back into their careers.
Startup Grind was a destination all to itself. Attendees were founders (startup lingo for the person who’s
The conference, held February 12-13, 2019 in Redwood City CA attracted attendees from around the world.
In the course of two days, I interacted with a husband-wife duo from Australia, a student from South Africa, a payments solution in Indianapolis and fellow real estate tech entrepreneurs from Mexico City. The common thread among them was a burn-in-the-belly desire to change the world and provide a solution using their business.
The annual conference is sponsored by Google and boasts topics ranging from technology, virtual reality and blockchain businesses in addition to more traditional business models. Because the conference was literally nestled on the streets of Google’s backyard allowed for allowed a seamless integration into to city’s fabric in a way that felt real and necessary.
Now this was not a playground of only young optimists, a healthy number of venture capitals were in attendance looking for the next hot business founder to establish a connection with. This added a layer of sophistication and grounding that is necessary to maintain a healthy dose of realism along the way.
The line up of speakers was no less impressive. Arlan Hamilton, Reed Hoffman, Rory O’Driscoll, Bryan Schreier, Emily Chan. I left the meeting more educated, completely inspired and more confident that our solution is valuable and that other people believe in the mission also.
We presented Housing Joint Venture on Day 2.
Businesses on display ranged from pre-launch, pre-revenue to launched and seeking funding or bootstrapped. Thankfully, the HJV booth we started with a steady stream of traffic that snowballed into a long line of inquiring minds interested in the business model, how we serve and the impact we plan to have on communities. It felt so assuring to meet so many people interested in our work and excited about the mission to provide housing for families. In the end, we came away with new relationships that we look forward to fostering in the future. —