By Amy Kemp
People ask all the time … why? Why did you and your two other cofounders start a coworking space in the mountains.
My answer is … this.
And this …
To translate into words, the reason we created ELEVATE was to host events like Startup Weekend.
Events (and programs and a shared workspace) that give people – our people, our community – the chance to not just talk about their dreams. But, to do something. To bring them to life.
To say it a different way, ELEVATE was created to be the space for people to do awesome stuff … to think differently … to dream … to inspire … to create … to innovate … to elevate their lives and our community and ultimately our world. (and, oh yeah, the WiFi is super fast and that is a big, big deal)
I’m on the organizing committee for Startup Weekend and was incredibly proud that ELEVATE co-hosted Summit County Startup Weekend April 10-12, 2015. Startup Weekend gave people the space and the inspiration to do awesome stuff. Scott Byker’s team created software to quickly detect malaria. Another one – Skillit led by Michael Lazarus – built a functioning app to teach young dudes to cook … In one weekend. In less than 54 hours, people. That’s ridiculously fast. I was blown away by these two teams – and their skills and passion and tenacity (and no sleep).
Merrily and her Team Savvy created a real-time counseling support program to college-age students and Eazy Shade developed an entire plan to market a new retractable sun shade for your car’s windshield as swag. The winning team – Adrenaline Escapes – is launching a site and app to connect adventure travelers to local “guides” around the world all because they believe in nudging people out of their comfort zone and trying something new.
Inspiring stuff. From all of the teams. From each and every person.
I am so honored and amazed that I was part of this. It was like watching the miracle of birth. For one, there was a lot of labor. Lots of pain. No sleep. And, it was kinda messy and weird at times. But, wow … wow .. in the end, it was freaking amazing. I had goosebumps and tears in my eye watching the teams on Sunday night at the final pitch night.
So, wait. I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up and answer an important question: what the heck is Startup Weekend? If you don’t know, here’s my answer: get off your butt and go and experience one firsthand. But, to give you a teaser to get you to register for the next Startup Weekend, here’s a quick description:
It’s an event designed to help you learn to launch a new business. In one weekend. In 54 hours.
But, it’s so much more than that. I met Bobby, Jason, Jason, Philip, NIkki, Stephen, Scott, Elaina, Jon, Castle. It gave me the opportunity to spend more time with some truly awesome people I already knew but didn’t really know … people like Mike, Mike, Kimberly, Shawna, Kyle, Merrily, David, Tom, Kristy Lee, Kathryn, Katie, Katherine who are brilliant and funny and fiery at times and passionate. (and if I forgot your name, I’m sorry, I’m still a bit sleep deprived)
I saw the teams and coaches slump in their chairs, jump up and down in celebration, code for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours, practice their pitches, high five each other, hug, smile and support each other. Like I said, brilliant, awesome, inspiring stuff.
This is what life is about. This is what community is. This is why we created ELEVATE and why we sacrifice our nights, weekends, sleep, sanity, savings …
It’s to help someone believe they can quit their job and create their own business. That they can create a better (more elevated) future for themselves and for our community. We – along with the incredibly dedicated Startup Weekend organizing committee, coaches, judges and mentors – did that.
We’re creating a new way of doing things. A new culture of innovation and possibilities, right here at 9,100 feet in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.
I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty damn good reason. And I’m damn proud to be part of it.
Join us. We need you to fuel this and keep the momentum going. The time is now. #ElevateIt