Startup Grind
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Startup Grind

3 Chapter Directors Connecting Startups to Success

Startup Grind’s 600+ Chapter Directors are an integral part of our mission at Startup Grind. Chapter Directors are on the ground in their respective locations, directly interacting with their communities daily. Directors help keep their chapters vibrant and lively, often by hosting their own events for just their local members. Through our Directors’ actions, communities around the world are positively affected by the influx of resources, connections, support, and enthusiasm about entrepreneurship.

We recently issued a challenge to our Directors to refer startups in their community to Startup Grind’s growing online membership platform which gives 4000 startups around the world access to mentorship, investor introductions, exposure opportunities, and more. Our Chapter Directors rose to the challenge and we’re excited to be adding over 200 new startups to the membership all thanks to our Directors and their dedication. Of the many directors who poured their hearts into this challenge, three passionate and motivated Directors, in particular, stood out to us. Let’s meet these ‘Super Connector Directors!’

Arzish Azam (Islamabad, Pakistan)

I am an award-winning community builder who specializes in entrepreneurship and innovation travel. I’m the youngest global graduate from Founder Institute, the Country Manager for Startup Grind Pakistan, CEO of Ejad Labs, and the founder of some of the leading tech conferences in the country.

How did you get involved with Startup Grind?

I ended up re-starting the Islamabad Chapter for Startup Grind in 2017 and then ended up expanding the community to more than 15 cities across the country, taking massive delegations from my country to Startup Grind international conferences and became an integral part of it. I had the honor of hosting the first Startup Grind Pakistan Conference in Islamabad and it was a life-changing event, for me as well as for my community.

What motivates you to be a Chapter Director?

The community gives me a purpose, not just to build a booming business, but also to help grow others along the way. I think that has been my biggest motivation, seeing the impact of the work we do at Startup Grind — first hand, among my community, and among my friends

What’s been your experience as a Chapter Director?

Startup Grind has had a transformational effect on my life by helping me become a better person as well as a better entrepreneur. Being a part of this community and practicing these values has allowed me to help others in my community but also help myself.

What excites you about the startups in your community?

Pakistani startups raised over $125 million in the first half of 2021, more than double what the country’s startups had raised in all of 2020. Pakistan presents a unique opportunity by being the 5th largest country in the world with 220 million people and having internet penetration to 100 million people — these factors clearly indicate the massive growth any Pakistani startup can have just by serving the local population, but also then expanding to MENA countries.

Say hey to Arzish on LinkedIn!

Dhruvil Parikh (Bangalore, India)

Currently, I am a Business Analyst at a Consulting Firm and a full-time Community Enthusiast. Community and Strategy are something that excites me the most.

How did you get involved with Startup Grind?

I had been a regular attendee of SG Pune’s events during my Undergraduate. During that time, Pratap, Chapter Co-Director for Pune Chapter introduced me to Jan, the then APAC Community Lead and I started the first University Chapter for India in Pune in 2018.

What motivates you to be a Chapter Director?

As I mentioned, I am a Community Enthusiast, and being connected and adding value are my top priorities. Being a Chapter Director, I get to connect, educate and inspire my Community Members. Also, the idea of being connected to a Global Community and interacting with people across borders is the best part of being a Chapter Director.

What’s been your experience as a Chapter Director?

Bangalore being a mature ecosystem, the startups and the people here are very specific in terms of the knowledge and experience they are seeking. Also, the Ecosystem leaders are quite senior to me, so it has been a great learning experience. About the time when I was the Chapter Director for University Chapter, it was really a great experience leading a community in a city with a large amount of student crowd and helping fellow students in their Career/Startup Journey.

What excites you about the startups in your community?

Bangalore has a wide range of startups ranging from Early Stage to big Unicorns and some still in their stealth mode. The most exciting part about the startups and the startup founders is that they are spread across a vast spectrum. I get to learn a lot from the Matured Startup Founders and also try to educate the others who are still kick-starting their Startup Journey through our sessions.

Be sure to reach out to Dhruvil on LinkedIn!

Naimul Abd(Stockholm, Sweden)

I am a Business Advisor & Partnerships Lead at Coompanion Stockholm: a leading startup, impact, and cooperative consulting and project management organization working in 25 different regions in Sweden. I coach more than 500 early-stage startup founders every year. In addition, I have an early-stage impact-tech startup portfolio with several game-changing ideas.

How did you get involved with Startup Grind?

It started with moderating a fireside chat with a leading Swedish tech entrepreneur and investor. Through that event, I got to meet Jens Wernborg (SG HK) who was the chapter director at the time. That first event set the stage for several later meetings and a friendship that grows stronger by the day. I found Startup Grind as a natural fit for what Coompanion Stockholm and I were doing: building a strong and vibrant startup community.

What motivates you to be a Chapter Director?

The power to strengthen entrepreneurship. I am a strong believer that entrepreneurs are the shapers of our future as the human race. Today’s entrepreneurs are less profit-oriented and more solution- and people-oriented. That is a win-win-win for the future of business, people, and the planet. Startup Grind is a way to tap into this limitless entrepreneurship energy and help create solutions for tomorrow.

What’s been your experience as a Chapter Director?

It has been breathtaking! After taking over the chapter, my first priority was to build a strong team. Once you have a group of like-minded passionate souls with you, you can go anywhere, cross all barriers — the sky’s the limit! We set the momentum high and started talking to leading ecosystem players and leaders. Everyone saw great potential in being part of Startup Grind Stockholm and they joined in! The response has been overwhelming. Some of the leading international names joined our fireside chats including Magnus Grimeland, Founder and CEO of Antler, and Adeo Ressi, Founder & CEO of Founder Institute.

What excites you about the startups in your community?

The startup scene here in Sweden is evolving and highly competitive — especially when it comes to a place like Stockholm which is a leading global tech hub. This means that we constantly need to improve, provide the most current insights into the startup building journey, and connect people with the right opportunities for them to scale. The market pressure to perform at your peak at all times is something I like the most about Startup Grind Sweden.

Connect with Naimul on LinkedIn!

Check out our Startup Membership and see what opportunities are available for your company, and be sure to find your local chapter and many other great resources by becoming a member at Startup Grind!

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