Density is Destiny

During the holiday break, I sat down with Venture Atlanta for an interview, which they shared in its entirety on their blog. We explored a couple different topics, including why I came to Atlanta and why I joined Hypepotamus.

The most important part of the conversation came when I was asked to share the vision for Hypepotamus in 2013. Here’s what I said:

 

Q: WHAT’S YOUR VISION FOR HYPEPOTAMUS IN 2013?

A: Our vision is stated in three words: density is destiny. Density leads to serendipity.  Serendipity gives people more chances to collaborate and build trust with each other.  A culture of trust is what every strong startup community is built upon.

Our mission is to increase the talent pool of startup leaders in Atlanta.  Leadership is having the ability to influence others so anyone can be a leader. Over the course of your career, you might play different roles: founder, employee #1, late stage employee, investor, mentor, etc. In each of those roles, you can be a leader. We want more people to identify themselves as being a leader in the Atlanta startup community.

In 2012, we focused on creating physical density. Opening our doors in the arcade level of The Biltmore on Tech Square and encouraging more startups to circulate through there has a marked difference in the density. Most people find it hard to believe we don’t charge anyone rent. We’re not in the co-working business and we don’t want to be landlords. We just want to make it easy for designers, coders, entrepreneurs, students, investors, and storytellers to collide and find ways to collaborate.  It’s always amazing how many people walk into the Hype and make a connection they weren’t expecting, but were glad they did.

As we begin 2013, our focus is on creating greater media density and program density, which we believe will help the entire metro Atlanta community. We’re pretty happy with our current physical footprint and want to focus our energies on launching a full-time media property and taking our events and programs to the next level.  This media-program tandem is an important element that’s been missing from Atlanta and we believe will be a very powerful amplifier and accelerant. Just look at what December’s calendar of events has done. Now imagine 3-5 times more programs each month – all of which will be covered by an editorial team.

Media Density

By early February, you’ll be able to experience the media property firsthand. We’re going to tell the story of the Atlanta startup community with our primary audience being students. So much great talent comes through all our universities and colleges here in Georgia. We’re going to make sure they know about our startup success, learn about all the key players, and have a chance to make personal connections with them. Of course, we know other audiences will be paying attention, too, which is something we welcome.

Program/Event Density

Around the same time we launch media operations, we’ll host a startup summer internship fair, which will help promote those startups hiring interns while unveiling our Summer Startup Academy. The Academy is a co-curricular summer internship program to help those Atlanta startups hiring summer interns offer a more robust experience. The Academy will include a 12-week calendar of events for interns to get to know each other, meet others in the greater Atlanta startup community, and attend special gatherings with various notable startup leaders.

Of course, we’re going to have more regular meetups, mixers, and other programs happening in January and beyond. We’re cooking up some new collaborations and will be announcing them shortly.  You can rest assured that 2013 will begin strong thanks to the AtlantaPHP, Ed2010, AngularJS, and the Atlanta Startup Village meetups all happening in first two weeks of January.

Read the full interview on the Venture Atlanta blog.

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