Stripe, Airbnb, Box, SoulCycle, and the list goes on! SoCreate was in good company at the 2019 Startup Grind Global Conference. In partnership with Google for Startups, the event attracts thousands of hungry entrepreneurs looking to learn from and be inspired by startups doing big things. We returned to SLO with heads and hearts full of ideas to continue building our own great company.

SoCreate Team at Startup Grind

Having never been part of a startup before SoCreate, I’m inspired by the successful businesses that started small but now will make life easier and better for people around the globe. Start, grind, scale – that’s the name of the game! And we are doing just that. Our screenwriting platform will radically change not only the process by which people write stories but the diversity and the sheer number of people who will have the ability to tell their unique stories through our platform.

Here are three key takeaways from the 2019 Startup Grind Global Conference:

Startups are no longer limited geographically to Silicon Valley

Reid Hoffman from LinkedInStartups from more than 50 countries participated in the event this year. I was equally surprised by the number of wildly successful startups from other US states, including Qualtrics (recently acquired for $8 billion – yes BILLION!) which is based in Salt Lake City, and T-Sheets (acquired by Intuit QuickBooks for $340 million) which is still based in its hometown of Boise, Idaho. Post-acquisition, these companies emphasized staying put for the sake of their employees and communities who supported them through rapid growth.

Startups are becoming increasingly more mission-driven

Google 2019 Goals WallI discovered so many startups who are genuinely trying to make the world a better place through tech. And it’s not a second or third priority: they’re baking social impact into everything they do. Shift7 uses AI to ensure more diverse representation in TV and movies; Halan allows economically disadvantaged Egyptians to order safe, pre-screened Tuktuk and motorcycle rides to get to school or work; Valisure operates an online pharmacy that chemically tests every batch of medication it sells to ensure dosage and ingredients are safe. SoCreate will fall in this category, too, just by way of giving more diverse voices the opportunity to create.

There’s no sign of slowing

Lorraine Twohill from GoogleThe entrepreneurs I met at Startup Grind seem unaffected by the challenges they’re facing, whether it’s funding, hiring, or growing. Throw a hurdle in their way, and they will jump higher. They’re unfazed, empowered, wickedly smart, and incredibly passionate about their startups, and we have so many of these people to thank for the tech that simplifies our lives. Most importantly, they create a ripple effect by living the Startup Grind values: Make friends, not contacts. Give, don’t take. And help others before you help yourself. Put all these folks together and they are truly unstoppable.

Special thanks to our CEO Justin Couto and COO Amy Pruett for bringing me along to Redwood City to experience the startup culture. I’m armed with knowledge and a new spark of innovation and I can’t wait to see SoCreate join these ranks!

Courtney Meznarich, Director of Community Outreach