Startup Grind 2016 – “Make Friends, Not Contacts”

Feb 25, 2016 • Events, Startups
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Community. My biggest take away from Startup Grind Conference 2016 is how genuinely the organization is committed to uniting and helping startups accelerate together on a global level. Being that I devote my life connecting quality people in the LA tech ecosystem with WeAreLATech , I know how rare it is to find people like Derek Andersen. Derek Andersen founded Startup Grind, he moderated many of the fireside chats at Startup Grind Conference 2016 on the main stage and gave opening and closing remarks, but what caught my attention is how he spoke; his tone of voice and the types of questions and comments he made. They were all audience focused, selfless.

On stage at one point when some people weren’t being open with their direct contact information Derek grilled them to share. When a speaker would hold back, Derek would push them. It was about being real. It was in alignment with the purpose of the whole event – to authentically support one another.

Startup Grind is about serving for the better of the whole and not about individual notoriety or ego. Derek is a true leader and someone people would be proud to rally behind. And that they do – around the world. Startup Grind has at least 150 city Startup Grind Directors voluntarily leading the local chapters globally. Barcelona, London, Oslo, Boston, Greece spanning across 70 countries… and even Los Angeles too. Quite a few of them had the opportunity to present speakers on the main stage.

StartupGrind_2016 - TechZulu

For lunch the conference fed us clean salads and proteins supplied by Farmhill so we’d be energized and sustain mental clarity.  None of this Dorito and ramen nonsense, they cared about people’s well being. At the afterparty there was no blocked off elite section. Speakers mingled with Attendees in the same space and everyone danced and chatted as they sipped champagne and other cocktails all included in the event.

Coming up this March #TechLA gets to experience the wonder of Startup Grind at their local event led by SG LA community director Joe Falalette happening at Pivotal Labs. It will be featuring one of my favorite speakers in the world, Marc Hemeon; a brilliant designer, an extraordinary human, incredible artist and the guy who helped in designing the YouTube player. Yup, that guy.

Startup Grind Marc Hemeon DesignerMarc is the CEO and Founder of Design Inc. – a design company focused on helping established companies and startups design and build beautiful products that are simple and easy to use. Previously, Marc was the co-founder of North Technologies, fflick (acquired by Google,) TeeFury & DesignbyHumans. He has also led design teams at Oakley, Digg, Google X and YouTube.


Here’s the deets:

Overview video of Startup Grind 2016 thanks to attendee @goforwardfilms

TechLA Startup Grind

Espree Devora

*the Girl who Gets it Done* Espree created WeAreLATech which unites LA Tech founders, investors, engineers and creatives via incredible offline activities, the 1st LA Tech podcast "WeAreLATech" featuring LA Startups fueling this city to become a top destination for tech and innovation and a calendar of all the Los Angeles tech events (updated weekly) which can be found both via WeAreLATech mobile app. Additionally she produces and hosts the #womenintech Podcast and "Hello Customer" podcast. In addition to being a contributing journalist and panel moderator for TechZulu she has provided seminars in entrepreneurship and technology to many corporations and universities including CBS, SXSW, Disney and USC Executive MBA. On her blog,, she enjoys curating and reviewing the best Productivity Tools for Startups

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