Tonight in downtown Raleigh, a veritable supergroup of entrepreneurs and investors will gather for the 15th ExitEvent Startup Social. Billed as an anti-networking event and limited to verified entrepreneurs and investors, it’s like a punk rock version of a startup community — formed completely from grass roots by entrepreneurs, spun way out of control, and held together by the good nature of a few volunteers, who do this simply because it needs to be done.
There are no sponsors, there are no sales pitches, there is no guarantee that you’ll get to chat with Johnny BigExit or Jane ManagingPartner. There’s only the promise that states that if all of you keep showing up, be it reading the articles or coming to the Socials, we’ll keep the lights on.
It’s a double-edged sword. The Startup Social, and for that matter ExitEvent.com, is run cheaply, simply, some would say lean, and requires a few hours a week for the site and then another few hours a month to prep for the Social. It has a budget of zero. Thus, you, the entrepreneur, only get out of it what you put into it.
But it’s that same bare-bones simplicity that has allowed the event and the website to carry on well into its second year, making it the most well-attended, longest running entrepreneurial get-together in the area.
“For my money (read: time),” a recent email from a well-known local serial entrepreneur read, “The ExitEvent Social is the only startup meet up worth doing. Keep up the good work.”
But we serve at the will of the entrepreneurs, whether that’s the hundred or so who will show up tonight or the nearly 1000 signed up from across the nation.
So come on out tonight and get to know these folks. It’s why we do what we do, because it needs to be done.