10 Mar Finding Your Tribe at Dallas Startup Week
Building or working in a startup isn’t for everyone. If you’re lucky, hours are long and pay is enough. If lightening strikes, you hit the jackpot. Being an entrepreneur can be isolating. Your significant other grows tired of hearing you practice your pitch. You’ve spent more time sitting at a conference table than you have at your own dining table. Sometimes it feels like you know the cast of Shark Tank better than your friends.
Everyone needs to feel part of something bigger than they are. By nature, humans are tribal. Being connected to a tribe, or group of similar people with similar interests, experiences, hopes, and fears, is necessary for our survival. I witnessed hundreds of people finding their tribe during Startup Week Dallas.
I met an attendee who drove up to Dallas just to attend Startup Week. He grew up in Dallas before graduating from Savannah School of Art and Design. He’s now a designer living in Austin. What started as a quick exchange after a panel discussion turned into an hour-long conversation in which the positive effects of improv on the collaborative creative process was discussed at length. Now seems like an appropriate time to point out that I fully recognize how truly academic and nerdy that sounds—and it was. However obscure the topic of conversation though, I still managed to find someone I could connect with and have a “me too!” moment with.
And that was the beauty of Startup Week.
I saw so many new faces this week and what I learned is that this tribe is even larger than any of us imagined. In fact, Dallas broke the record for the number of registrations for a first ever startup week. For many, this was their first experience connecting with other entrepreneurs and creatives building or working for startups. They’ve been working on their companies, their ideas, from coffee shops and garages. Interesting, curious, and desiring to connect with and learn from others who have been in their shoes, they found their opportunity to join a thriving tribe of people just like them during Startup Week.
I spoke with people who had never stepped foot in a coworking space (including a few who had no idea what a coworking space was) who are now planning to visit and join organizations like The Grove, Fort Work, and Common Desk. And I met others, with more questions than answers, who are now aware of the numerous resources available to them from places like The DEC and The Addison Treehouse.
Not a day goes by that I don’t overhear a comment about the palpable energy of our startup community. If Startup Week is any indication, this tribe is growing and getting stronger each and every day.