Startup camp for entrepreneurs


Perhaps my favorite thing to do outside of building companies is help other folks build companies. I was a major outsider in this business and had to fight my way inside over a decade. It sucked at times, but it’s paid off. Every day I get at least two or three dozen emails from entrepreneurs looking for startup advice. It’s really hard to get back to everyone, but I try (if I don’t get back to you, keep trying!).

Any time I go to a conference I stay for at least the full day I’m speaking so I can meet with folks who are starting companies and want to chat. It’s exhausting but exhilarating for me. Since I’m doing this all the time I was thinking of formalizing it into an event. Perhaps two or three days of intense education, discussion, debate, and good times for folks out there fighting to make their startup dreams come true.

TechCrunch40 is a major manifestation of the goal, but it’s really to show off what people *have* built (oh yeah, we got TC40 details coming REAL soon and you’re gonna be blown away! Can’t say anything yet, but Mike and I are really excited about the plans).

What I’m talking about is the things that happen six months before and after TechCrunch40: how you figure out what to build, and what to do with the product you’ve built.

My goal for the startup camp would be to:

  • Be as open as possible in terms of attendees. Old folks, young folks… people in jobs they hate, folks still in high-school. People working it on a street level, people stuck in academy or big business who want to break out. You get the drill: an open door policy.
  • Price: free to cheap. Not looking to make money on this, but rather make impact.
  • Intimate: Would like every single person at the event to meet every single other person over the two to three days.
  • Remote: the event would have to take place somewhere remote so that everyone can bond in the short period we have
  • One track: everyone is on one-track so everyone is part of every conversation
  • Interactive: everyone has a voice. Sure we have speakers, but that should be no more than half the program.
  • Roundtabled: everyone around one huge long table, or similar setup so every can be on the same level. Tons of projectors and monitors to pull up informaiton.

What do you guys think? If you’re a startup company what would you like to see at the event?

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