Before electricity, people would gather around campfires to talk, connect, and give each other advice. Today, “Campfire” is a twice-a-month meetup held at Tech Ranch in Austin. Even though I’m not affiliated with Tech Ranch, I find Campfire highly useful. If you’re an entrepreneur (or just interested in startups), Campfire provides a great way to meet other people in the Austin startup community. At this free three-hour event, everyone from serial entrepreneurs to new developers have a chance to solve problems and network.
So why should you participate in Campfire?
One of the main focuses of the event is making new connections. There’s a ton of talent in the Austin area, and there’s probably someone at every Campfire that can help you. At the first Campfire I attended, I met a health-tech professional, a Norwegian business consultant, a man with a PhD in the Humanities, a mechanical engineer that contracts for the military, B2B software developers, rising students at the University of Texas, and an inbound marketing guru.
Solving Your Problems
Kevin Koym, the founder of Tech Ranch, emphasizes that all participants should try to raise the value of their venture and someone else’s venture. Everyone is encouraged to give a two-minute pitch to a small group describing what they need. In my experience, this helps people practice concisely stating their ideas and what they need to move forward. The first time I attended, I was happy to tell people about “Keurig for Scented Showers,” and found some great contacts.
Like I mentioned before, Campfires are about both giving and receiving help. One reason Kevin Koym likes Austin is that companies are not as cutthroat as they are in the Bay Area. Why should a B2B water-tech startup feel threatened by a grocery delivery service? At campfires, I’ve seen individuals in unrelated fields connect each other to professionals outside their native networks. Cooperation is the norm.
Whether you’ve built a multimillion dollar company or you’re just starting out, you can gain something from a campfire at Tech Ranch. If you’re interested in attending, you can see details, view the calendar, and RSVP on Tech Ranch’s website. Hope to see you there!