Home > Startups > Startup Grind Leverages The International Visibilty Of Luxembourg's Startup Ecosystem

Startup Grind Leverages The International Visibilty Of Luxembourg's Startup Ecosystem

values-929x522


Startup Grind is the largest independent startup community, actively educating, inspiring, and connecting 215,000 founders in over 185 cities.” That’s what you can read on the official website. A year and half ago Steve Glange started the local chapter in Luxembourg with a challenging goal: organizing monthly events that bring influential founder or investor and inspire and connect the local startup community. In the interview, he came back to the first events he organized and how Luxembourg can benefit from the exposure of this global network.

The aim of Startup Grind officially is to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs via events featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors who share personal stories and lessons learned on the road to building great companies.

You set up the Startup Grind series of events a year – and a few months – ago. How did that go so far?

We had our well attended launch event in April 2014 and since then we hosted seven further insightful fireside chats with interesting personalities.

These entrepreneurs all openly and lively shared their experience with the audience.
So far, as we noticed, at each event the audience profited fully from the informal Q&A after the theme setting fireside chat. The attendees asked questions as well as for advice on their own venture.

The interesting aspect is that all of those ventures were in different stages e.g. idea, concept, beta, commercial, expansion but the common thread in the questions was the longing for feedback from the firesided entrepreneur.

This interaction or more interactivity among the person on the stage and the audience was key during all the eight events. Of course some were better attended as others but the feedback we received from the audience was generally the same i.e. they liked the opportunity to get feedback from someone who travel led already the path.

What is the purpose of a Startup Grind event and how do you chose your guest?

The aim of Startup Grind officially is to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs via events featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors who share personal stories and lessons learned on the road to building great companies.

In Luxembourg we focus mainly on the educational part enabling, as mentioned supra, the audience to get feedback from the alumni of the School of Hard Knocks. They key in our view is to keep it informal and open without focusing on the fireside chat part but more on the Q&A part and of course the networking.

[…] we have some really awesome entrepreneurial personalities in Luxembourg as well as many hidden gems.

We could lament that compared to other cities/regions/countries in Luxembourg we do not have so many obvious successful and of course hyped entrepreneurs becoming eventually our guests. But this is, in our view, a misconception because we have some really awesome entrepreneurial personalities in Luxembourg as well as many hidden gems.

We would like to bring these hidden gems forward and to show that in order to get a diploma from the School of Hard Knocks there is no one-size-fits-all solution or concept. And especially it is this diversity of skills and more that makes Luxembourg so special.

This experience must not be only successful ones but educative failures are more than welcome.

So to get back to your question on the “selection” of our guests, we would like to put forward that it is not the amount or quality of the candidates which is a hurdle but to convince those persons to share their passion as well as experience and path with an eager to learn and receptive audience. Audience which is generally around thirty to fifty attendees even though we had for some events topped the 100 registrations.

An ideal candidate is a person who has lived through or assisted someone to go through the School of Hard Knocks and is willing to share this experience with an impatient audience. This experience must not be only successful ones but educative failures are more than welcome.

The 9th event will take place in a few days, who will be your guest? What will be the main topics you will talk about?

For the upcoming event in September, we honored to have Alexandre Rochgude as our guest. He is a well known entrepreneur in Luxembourg especially in the Fintech area.

He will share during the fireside chat his personal experience and his own path from a consultant to entrepreneur.

Being a financial specialist he set up FLASHiZ, a disruptive and award-winning mobile payment solution, which has been granted one of the first European eMoney license. They successfully launched the solution on its test market (Luxembourg) and has been acquired in October 2013 by FEXCO and BNP Paribas.

He will share during the fireside chat his personal experience and his own path from a consultant to entrepreneur. Especially what stimulated him and how he managed to have such a fast exit. Of course we will touch upon the industry he was active in i.e. Fintech and especially the role the Luxembourg location played [eventually] in his success.

On the other hand we will also outline how with the KHUBE he and KPMG Luxembourg are going to develop and assist the Luxembourg eco-system.

The attendees can ask questions as well as advice from this entrepreneur.

Startup Grind is a global network. How could we put Luxembourg on the global startup map?

Indeed Startup Grind is actually hosting events in 150 cities and 65 countries and was founded in Palo Alto, California.

One advice that we always reiterate since 2000 is to use and leverage the international networks when visiting other countries.

As with FirstTuesday, Luxembourg does not need to be shy about itself without bragging loud about it. On the other extreme, we should not focus too much on our own i.e. cocooning as well as disconnecting us from the outside world.

In our view, a good way to put Luxembourg again on the global map as well as to foster its position is to integrate best practices from abroad and use the various networks especially the global ones to make connections outside of Luxembourg. One advice that we always reiterate since 2000 is to use and leverage the international networks when visiting other countries.

On the other hand, the media coverage the global networks are getting and producing will benefit to position Luxembourg globally a bit like a certification.

Finally, by contributing actively to other global actors [e.g. StartUs.cc, Startup Digest from Up Global] we all can act as ambassador and spread the word.

In our opinion, the best way to achieve a healthy eco-system is to spread the word and stories about successful or not so successful entrepreneurs and their ventures among the local actors as well as learn by example from other countries.


You may also like
Fit 4 Start Goes HealthTech And Digital This Time
Opening Up Its Network: Silicon Luxembourg Moves Up A Gear
Find The Perfect Investor In Minutes Not Months With Unicorn Nest
Virtual Currencies: Tax Or No Tax?