Creating impact for
UP Global expanded again internationally, moved HQ into Startup Hall, renamed the Education Entrepreneurs program, and launched the UP Global visual identity. Amidst all these organizational enhancements—our mission and beliefs have not changed.
One of our core beliefs is that everyone should be able to experience entrepreneurship.
It is by all of us working together that we begin to make this belief a reality. I describe these collective efforts as radical inclusion, a term borrowed from the Burning Man Community.
It calls for an expansive perspective and attitude that includes all groups who may be underserved, unrecognized, or on the sideline of the global startup movement.
It is through radical inclusion that communities, teams, and entrepreneurship will grow stronger. You will see examples of radical inclusion in the stories we’ve highlighted this year—stories of community leaders and entrepreneurs being supported by their local startup ecosystem regardless of ethnicity, gender, age, politics, disability, religion, or socio-economic standing.
From Marc Nager, Co-Founder & CEO
Co-Founder & CEO, UP Global
Entrepreneurship helps transcend divisions because it taps an essential human need to create. Our 2014 Impact Report highlights people overcoming their differences to organize and attend events in order to challenge the status quo and solve real problems. This is why participants write things like, “Don’t let the fire of the weekend die.” The demand for experiential programming continues to grow because it unlocks the creative potential within all of us.
Thank you for including UP Global in your 2014, now let’s all set our sights even higher for 2015!
Additional regional summits occurred in Brasil, Spain, Colombia, and the United States.
Turkish Facilitators Ece Idil Kasap and Emin Okutan kicked off the Startup Weekend in Armenia’s capital of Yerevan. 54 hours later teams pitched in Gyumri. This was the first shared Startup Weekend between countries that have no diplomatic relations. The distance between these two cities is quite small compared to the historic, political, and ethnic divides that mark the region. Yet, on Sunday night six blended teams found themselves united in entrepreneurship and competing to win first prize.
Syria’s economy has shrunk between 15%-20% during the last three years of civil war, and is ranked among the most difficult national economies in which to do business. This includes difficulties around important ecosystem ingredients like permits, utilities, property, investment, and personal credit. Additionally, Startup Weekend organizers faced fundamental challenges of safety, electricity, and internet access. All of that did not stop 400 young entrepreneurs from attending the first ever Startup Weekend Damascus. Startup Weekends like these have been a community rallying point across the Arab world for several years. Prior to Damascus, Startup Weekends have been hosted in Ramallah, Amman, Jeddah and Beirut, as well as Cairo, Dubai, and Casablanca, and the first startup weekend in Iran.
12 year old Brooke Martin attended a Startup Weekend in Spokane, WA. Her pet care concept won top prize—much to the surprise and delight of the 39 adult participants. Brooke has since been recognized as an entrepreneur in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Women 2.0 and recently appeared on the television show Shark Tank. Her product, iCPooch, is available on Amazon and at Bed Bath & Beyond stores.
Entrepreneurs and community members gathered in Morro da Providencia, the first slum in Brasil to make a difference in daily lives. “Make Your Own Luck” was the emerging theme of the weekend. The top three teams developed ideas directed at health care, youth sports education, and support of local crafts-people through ecommerce. Pedacinho de Mim, an ecommerce bedding products website managed to sell a thousand dollars of merchandise in their first five hours.
Startup Weekend Access proved that with a few small tweaks, any event team can encourage a welcoming and collaborative environment for people with disabilities. Todd Bachmann, Cory Klatik, Shashi Jain, Jeff Martens, and the Organizing team pioneered the Access Edition.
Some of the guidelines included:
venue selection access for people with mobility aids
flyers printed in braille
sign-language interpreters for Friday and Sunday nights
microphones with FM transmitting capacity
transcription and large print formatting of presentation decks
With the help of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, female participation at Startup Weekend has increased from 17% to 26.5%. This initiative took a broad approach that highlighted successful women entrepreneurs from across the world, facilitating connections within the community, and hosting local Startup Weekend Women’s Edition events.
Teams in accelerators
Alumni funding raised
Alumni still operating
The world's largest startup competition returned for it's 5th year! On the weekends of November 15th and 22nd, thousands of entrepreneurs across the globe joined together for two of the most innovative weekends of 2014.
This year, United States Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith met with a group of founders from Startup Weekend and Startup Next programs to discuss immigration.
In partnership with Google, we put together everything the experts know on how best to foster a thriving startup ecosystem. The resulting white paper served as a starting point for action in communities everywhere.
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