“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
The wisdom was flowing in Las Vegas as 500+ global champions of entrepreneurship came together May 29th — June 1st for the 2014 UP Global Summit. A reawakening of Downtown Las Vegas is in full swing making our recent stop a most appropriate excursion. On the outside, UP Global is a non-profit dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, grassroots leadership, and strong communities. But if you take a closer look, you’ll find a much more deeper phenomenon taking place. UP Global is a movement not to be taken for granted.
Anytime you’re able to bring together 500+ innovators from across the globe you’re doing something. In fact, thanks to the leadership of folks like Marc Nager, Andrew Hyde, and many others, the 2014 UP Global Summit in the desert was nothing short of spectacular featuring a dynamic mix of content including campfire dinners, learning village experiences, fun activities, and focused discussions on important matters like the celebration of women in entrepreneurship, the power of marketing to create the future, growing your very own startup community, inspirational Ignite talks, and a fireside chat with none other than Steve Case and Brad Feld.
One highlight of the UP Global Summit, a fireside chat with Steve Case included a nice bonus, the participation of the man himself, Brad Feld, the author of Startup Communities. This unique chat featured an inspiring discussion on entrepreneurship’s role in shaping the future of our world. Both Steve, who needs no introduction, and Brad shared openly their perspective on what it takes to build a thriving startup community. The crowd listented intentively to a power packed mash up of startup wisdom and uncanny authenticity. Brad Feld spoke with candor as he provided the community with a direct window into his personal life and early experiences as a young entrepreneur. Steve Case spoke on the power of community, going beyond tech entrepreneurship, and his journey with AOL, which offered a stark reminder to us all about the importance of endurance.
It is this same endurance that often leaves us entrepreneurs thinking about what it takes to succeed and leave our mark on the world. Anytime we get to hear from those ‘who’ve been there and done that’ we listen. But the funny thing is that both Steve and Brad (who wore some really cool zebra print shoes I must say!) didn’t have an ulterior motive for joining the crowd in Downtown Las Vegas. They were there because they believe in the role of community to drive a global movement around entrepreneurship. They believe in the ‘crazies’ who have the potential to change the world. This belief took the form of much more than just a fireside chat. Both Steve and Brad mingled with attendees throughout the Summit providing aspiring entrepreneurs and global community leaders with unparalleled authentic access. I personally got to fist bump Steve as we chatted about more important things in life like World Class BBQ. I also found myself high-fiving Brad Feld in the hotel as we crossed paths. These micro collisions are the things that drive an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Proximity at the granular level at its finest.
It’s not easy building a startup community. It’s not easy being an entrepreneur. But events like the UP Global Summit make this roller coaster ride worth it. Motivation to power the prolific and shape our own canvas begins and certainly doesn’t end in Vegas. Here’s to the celebration of a global community of entrepreneurial leaders. May we keep that energy growing and party like it’s a rooftop carnival with friends both old and new.