Startup Grind, a community for entrepreneur meetups, is partnering with Google For Entrepreneurs to provide global resources and technology. The organization has also added 10 new chapters, bringing its total to 54 chapters in 20 different countries.
Founded in 2010, Startup Grind organizes monthly events for each city’s chapter, featuring speakers such as founders from Pinterest, Atari and Y Combinator. Founder and CEO Derek Andersen says Google For Entrepreneurs will help Startup Grind expand internationally by providing access to distribution, Google technology and financial support. Andersen tells me he is aiming to reach a total of 100 chapters in the next 12 months.
The organization has no shortage of applications to choose from. Andersen tells me Startup Grind has received 350 inbound requests in the last year, of which 30 have been approved. Each accepted applicant becomes the director of a chapter, but must display “Silicon Valley values” first, Andersen says. This is part of his goal to expand the startup culture to other cities around the world.
“In the future, you will not need to be in Silicon Valley to be taken seriously as a tech startup,” he tells me. “I just see so many places with such a high caliber of entrepreneurs.”
The support of startups in other cities and countries is not a foreign concept. Google For Entrepreneurs has partnered with several other global entrepreneurship initiatives such as Campus Tel Aviv, 10,000 Startups and KStartup. But Startup Grind is targeted toward entrepreneurs who aren’t necessarily ready for admission into a startup accelerator or incubator. It is also primarily focused on its monthly fireside chats, of which it has held over 250.
Andersen says the monthly fireside is Startup Grind’s specialty. “We’re world-class at that one thing. We’re really bad at a thousand things, but that one we’re actually pretty good at,” he tells me.
While the application process to become a chapter director is rigorous, anyone can attend Startup Grind’s events. Tickets range from $10 to $20. The new chapters are Paris, France; Istanbul, Turkey; Cape Town, South Africa; Zurich, Switzerland; Manila, Philippines; Fortaleza, Brazil; and Waterloo, Canada; as well as U.S. cities Tampa, Las Vegas and Indianapolis.