Tech Startup Learnings: Startup Abroad

Having arrived back in the states a week ago, gone straight to Burning Man, and now with a bit of time to look back on Startup Abroad — I wanted to put together a few thoughts on the experience.

How was it? Quite simply, an amazing 2 weeks would be an understatement. It’s not a stretch to say that co-living is a proven model for accelerated team building — and Startup Abroad was basically applying the Fraternity model (which I experienced) to tech startups. Living together with a group that shares a common tie (tech & entrepreneurship in our case) for 2 weeks got our friendships to a point that would have taken 6-9 months in a normal scenario. But it didn’t just happen. Friendships are about shared experiences. Part of Startup Abroad was specifically setting out to create those shared experiences with activities such as volunteering in a school for an afternoon, hiking Mount Batur for sunrise, our silent painting experiment (ask me in person), and group meditation.

When I decided to take the plunge and bought my ticket from Spain, I did so for a couple primary reasons:

  • Build friendships with other entrepreneurs with a passion for technology, and who share a love of travel.
  • Insightful high level strategy discussions regarding the positioning and messaging for Oh Hey World with others.

Even though I didn’t quite finish my 4 goals (business plan still needs another revision), I got what I came for out of the two weeks. Life long friendships with a group of amazing individuals. And clarity on my primary messaging — as a result of a number of conversations with Jonathon Kresner and others, I shifted the primary messaging for version 1 of Oh Hey World from “Connecting you with others nearby” to “Share where you are with those who care”.

With an increasingly global workforce becoming more location independent by the day, co-working/living abroad is certainly a growing trend. Would I go to another Startup Abroad?

Absolutely.

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