I overheard someone I don't know talking about the upcoming ExitEvent Startup Social on Monday.
The word has gotten out 500 words at a time. It speaks to the validation of ExitEvent when the site or the Social come up in casual conversation with people who don't have any idea who the hell I am. I love that moment when it happens in startup - it means you've disassociated your company from yourself, and people see it as a real, living, breathing thing.
And I'm still kind of waiting to be in a conversation cluster at a Social and overhear someone say: "This event sucks. It's boring. It's overhyped. I hate it. And I hate the hipster douchebag who runs it."
I will totally buy that person an extra beer.
The only thing I don't want for ExitEvent is for it to become stale. And lately, what with all the day job and family and sleeping four-to-six hours a night, I haven't been able to expand the horizons the way I've wanted to.
It shouldn't have taken this long for me to bring the Startup Social back to Raleigh, so that's exactly what's happening on Monday. Having just spent the last week in Raleigh at TSF Showcase and Startup and Internet Summit (and yeah, I'm writing this from the back of a keynote), I'm re-impressed with how much is going on in the Capital City.
So something I learned when tons of entrepreneurs came out of the woodwork to go all the way to quiet Hillsborough for a Social at the Mystery Brewing Public House a couple months ago, I'm going to spread out the locations a little bit more.
That starts on Monday when we take up the awesome people at Crank Arm Brewing on their offer to host and spread the free pint love. I've heard Sumit wants me to have one at Lone Rider (and I'm like, "where have you been all my life?"). American Underground has (nearly) three awesome locations and we've never been there. Launch has also asked when we're coming back to Chapel Hill. We'll get the rotation spinning.
ExitEvent also recently got behind The Startup Giveback, in terms of promoting it and helping support it. I think getting entrepreneurs together to talk about something other than entrepreneurism can be healthy, especially if the community benefits from those discussions. I'm working on extending this promotional partnership beyond tomorrow's kickoff cookout to add Startup Giveback to the December Social, even if it's just suggested donations for the beer.
Doing something > doing nothing.
ExitEvent has always been a little bit hampered by the fact that I only spend 3-5 hours a week on it - that includes everything from writing and publishing articles to setting up the Socials. But, as I said on my panel at Startup Summit -- "Founders, you need to let it go, get your hands off the wheel and start to let people you trust help you."
So I hope you'll come out on Monday, have a beer, enjoy yourself, and have stimulating conversations with your fellow entrepreneurs and a few investors. And if you can think of any other way we can move ExitEvent forward, let me know. I'm sure I can spare an extra 15 minutes in that 3-5 hours to try out something new.