MAR 2020 | A Word from Derek + AWS Mentorship Month + Updated SG Logo

Important Topics In This Newsletter

#AWordFromDerek #DirectorsSummitRecap
#Coronavirus #H12020Cohort
#LevelUp #OfficeHours


I wanted to start with a graduation announcement of our entire community. March 1st concluded the “powered by Google for Startups” branding partnership between Google and Startup Grind. The integration into our logo back in 2013 was an important validation for Startup Grind’s mission and purpose. At the time we only had 50 chapters globally, and we were one of only a few partners that Google for Entrepreneurs had.

Over the years we have grown into the largest startup community in the world and as we enter the next stage of growth for Startup Grind we have a number of companies that would like to partner with us. By not having the “in partnership with Google for Startups” in each chapter's logo, it positions us more independently and ensures that we can work with a host of new companies in the near future in ways that can benefit local chapters. We are committed to having the logo remain independent from any brand going forward as we try to build our own equity and value in people’s lives and minds.

Rest assured that we are still very much a Google for Startups Partner, however we have entered a new phase of the partnership. Google for Startups will be joining our Preferred Partner Matrix where they will be publishing a new Google Ads offer for all members from April 1, as well as hosting themed months in June and November. So grateful to them as we enter our 8th year working together.

What does this mean for your local chapter?

  • Please update all your Chapter Art Assets with immediate effect. You will find your updated logos in your Chapters Google Shared Art Assets Folder. If you do not have access to it or can’t find the updated Art Assets, please send an email to
  • Whilst you do not immediately have to get rid of your printed banner, we are kindly asking that you do not use it in the month of April for the AWS Mentorship Month to ensure we respect their program globally. 

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or the Community Team.

Keep grinding



“When I joined SG four months ago I had no idea the depth and power of the community. These days here at Global have already changed my life. So much yesssssssss!”  -
Corey Hart (Grand Rapids, MI, USA)

Last month we welcomed over 130 Directors from around the world to the 2020 Global Conference + Directors Summit. For many Directors, this annual pilgrimage to Silicon Valley is always an unforgettable and inspiring experience. If you were unable to join us this year, we hope 2021 can be the year you experience Global. 

We shared a lot of content at our Directors Summit and we wanted to recap in the email below. 


Click or tap image above to view slides from Directors Summit

What was discussed:

Welcome from Derek Andersen (Founder & CEO) of Startup Grind. His key message was that running a Startup Grind Chapter, if done correctly, can be a phenomenal lever for you both personally and professionally. He challenged all of us to level up, by setting goals and challenging ourselves to achieve them.

Quality Growth - In our community team sessions, we began by sharing that our focus is very much on quality growth. This will be achieved through the cohort, enhanced community management and training. Chapters that go for more than 90 days without hosting an event will be moved to inactive.

Data Driven - The Community Team spoke on the importance of using the dashboard correctly as this is how we collate data and determine Chapter Health. This has an impact on whether your Chapter is considered for HQ-led Sponsorships. Please register attendees via the platform and remember to check them in. You can download the Bevy App from the various App Stores.

Cohort Success - The first cohort was a success. Measured not only by the knowledge the Chapter Directors who participated have, but by the number of events they are hosting and the quality of the events. Our analysis shows that for the period 1st October 2019 - 29th February 2020 the Chapters who completed the cohort achieved an 83% success rate in hosting events in comparison to a 30% success rate for Chapters that did not participate in the cohort over the same time period. 

Community Growth Curve - Startup Grind celebrated it’s 10 year anniversary last month. As our community continues to grow and mature it is important to note the many phases individuals will go through whilst in our community and have a structured way of categorizing and enhancing their experience in the community. The Community Team spent the past year diving deep into the journey of Chapter Directors and have developed the Community Growth Curve. G, shared the plan on how this would work and you can view the Prezi here. This will officially go live later this year as we finalise a few more details.


... and the Chapter Director of the Year Award goes to ...

A massive congratulations to all our award winners, and of course a special mention to our  Chapter Director of the Year winner, Denise Matthews of the Gibraltar Chapter. Watch her acceptance speech here!





AWS and Startup Grind are partnering up to provide mentorship opportunities to our community in a variety of ways. One of the ways is  Mentorship Month presented with AWS, which will be a themed Startup Grind month in April. During the month of April, we are encouraging all Chapters to orient their monthly events around mentorship, such as mentorship roundtables, mentor Q&As, and/or talks about the hows/whys of mentorship. AWS also has startup experts in several cities throughout the world, and we want to get them involved in local events where possible. They have been kind enough to put together this list of potential speakers both from within AWS and their AWS Community Heroes program. Have a look at the list here and if you are interested in having any of the people on the list speak at your local event, please send an email to

Please note, this partnership with AWS for Mentorship Month in April is on an exclusive basis with a non-compete clause in the contract. This means we cannot showcase any competing partners. Specifically, Google for Startups, Oracle for Startups, Microsoft for Startups or Salesforce. We would be very grateful if you can help us honour this. This means, ensuring that any marketing material you use or publish does not use the “in partnership with Google for Startups” logo. Please do not use your banner for the AWS Mentorship Month event as well. We really appreciate your support with this. These partnerships are important to us as they help us to continue supporting Chapters at a local level and our annual Directors Summits.


Derek shared an important email about the implications of  the Coronavirus on the 6th of March. If you missed it, please search your email for the subject thoughts on the virus and its effects on Startup Grind. In it he listed 5 things to consider doing for your Chapter. They are:

  1. Consider shifting your in-person event to a virtual event if your area is affected. I highly doubt the speaker will mind, in fact they may prefer it.
  2. Be creative about how to build community inside the new parameters that exist. What new/innovative things can you come up with? Share them with all of us.
  3. Proactively have conversations with your partners and sponsors to assure them that you're not going anywhere long term. Don't offer refunds to them for unfulfilled sponsorships if you have to postpone fulfillment. Offer to do more and help them get value in different ways until this blows over.
  4. Don't automatically offer refunds for ticket purchases to events that are moved/changed. Always offer credit to a future event as a starting point. Be proactive about talking to the community and people affected.
  5. Stay ahead of it. Things change quickly. Keep updating your decision process. Communicate like a legend.

If you need assistance in setting up a virtual event, please reach out to


We’re excited to announce the start of our next cohort, H1-2020, which is scheduled to begin on Monday, 13th April 2020. Our H2-2019 delivered some fantastic results, with the current cohort of Chapter Directors producing impressive events and showing an excellent understanding of what it means to be a Chapter Director and leading their local startup ecosystem. 

If you know of anyone in your immediate network interested in applying, please remind them that applications close on Sunday, 15th March 2020


As Google for Startups is no longer a presenting partner in our logo, our #LevelUp tip this month is focused on asking you to update your Chapters art assets across your Chapters dashboard, events posted, social media and banner, when you eventually print a new one. The updated logo’s will be in your Google Drive folder within the next few days. Please look out for them. 
Please note: The naming convention for your Startup Grind chapter logo has also been updated. We have now added the 2-letter ISO country standard to the end of the name. 
Moving forward, chapter name logo's will be as follows [City, 2-letter country code] - i.e. [Cape Town, ZA]
This will solve 2 problems we have experienced, as our chapter numbers have grown and will continue to grow:
Cities/towns with the same name in different countries - For example, we have London, CA and London, UK
Showcasing how international we are - with our presence in 125 countries and growing, showcasing the countries we are represented in more prominently in the individual chapter logos will reemphasize the global nature of our community



Not area specific - Anyone can join at this time, anywhere in the world


Not area specific - Anyone can join at this time, anywhere in the world


Not area specific - Anyone can join at this time, anywhere in the world

Keep grinding


Derek, G, Phin, Bruce, Madeline, Daniel, Jessica