One week ago, this year’s UP Summit in Las Vegas came to an end after three intense days of connecting, discussing, experiencing and, of course, partying. One week after and I still feel the void of not being amidst the best community I could ever imagine, with the best and most ambitious people. It was my first summit and the experience blew my mind! I met a ton of new and old friends and was constantly talking, laughing and giving high-fives. It’s hard for me to even put this whole experience into words.
More than 500 community leaders from all over the world came together in Downtown Las Vegas to celebrate their accomplishments. Everyone works in his or her local community to promote entrepreneurship – through Startup Weekend, Startup NEXT, Startup Digest and very recently Startup Week. The latter was initiated by Andrew Hyde, the founder of Startup Weekend. Big news were revealed as the program will be integrated into the UP portfolio and Hyde himself returns to the organization and movement he once helped to initiate. Welcome back, Andrew!
Startup Weekend and all the other programs are the origin of so many wonderful stories, often life changing! At the summit, I had the chance to connect to so many different people with so many different backgrounds but still with one mission: to change the world through entrepreneurial education! As Steve Case said aptly during the event: „If you want to go quickly, go alone – if you want to go far, go together.“ I know that this is only the beginning of a long and meaningful journey for us all.
During the summit, I also attended some very valuable learning sessions to exchange ideas and experiences with other organizers and facilitators. Especially the stories from troubled regions, e.g. Syria and Palestine, touched me and I’m convinced that these regions face a better future by having committed people on the ground who organize events to bring like-minded, entrepreneurial people together even if the environment is not ideal (war, natural catastrophes, …).
Other than that we had of course a few parties and went on a couple of awesome fun experiences. Groups had e.g. the chance to visit the Hoover Dam, go horseback riding or learn to dance like in Bollywood. I went on the Red Rock Mountains hike and was amazed by the natural beauty of this area. Even if Las Vegas is located in the middle of a desert, the nature is mind-blowing, especially with the Grand Canyon only a half-day drive away.
This summit was and is a very special event for me. I always felt I was different – thank you Startup Weekend and the UP community for giving me a home and connecting me to the crazy ones!