Startup Grind links Treasure Valley, Silicon Valley tech worlds

adutton@idahostatesman.comMay 21, 2014 

Have you heard about the organization that supports Boise tech startups?

Of course you have. They're everywhere. But they all take different approaches to the question, "How do you turn Boise into the next Palo Alto?"

One of the newest arrivals in the Treasure Valley is Startup Grind, whose approach is to build a stronger link between the Silicon Valley and other promising tech hubs, including Boise.

The organization, which calls itself a "global startup community designed to educate, inspire and connect entrepreneurs," launched its Boise chapter this year under the leadership of Jessica Whiting.

Its focus at the moment is on helping local tech startups — and mature tech companies — raise funds and bring more investment into Boise.

"I think we have a lot of the key entities in place" to become a global competitor in technology, said Whiting, a mother of two who started her career at age 14, working for a venture capital firm in downtown San Francisco. "Not only are we close to Silicon Valley, we have great universities here, we have great companies hubbing here ... and Boise is very, very creative."

Startup Grind charges no membership fees. Boise's Startup Grind volunteer team consists of several tech engineers, most of whom hail from other countries: "They're exactly who we need to be recruiting here in Boise," Whiting said.

Startup Grind hosts an event about once a month. About 50 to 75 people attend — not just startup hopefuls, but also "always a few investors," Whiting said.

Last month, Startup Grind flew in a speaker to tell Boiseans what venture capitalists are looking for. Watch a video of his talk below:

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