On Community

It’s the morning after the Tri-Cities first Startup Weekend. I’m still on the high you feel when an event has been completed successfully: that mix of complete exhaustion and elation. But the most present feeling is gratitude. I’m so thankful and grateful that I have an opportunity to live and work in the Tri-Cities. The community that is present here is what makes this place so special. I think I took the community-centric nature of the Tri-Cities for granted.

It was incredibly eye-opening to hear our Startup Weekend facilitator, who graciously came down from Spokane to help us out, express amazement at the scope of the creative, tech, entrepreneur, coworking and social communities within the Tri-Cities. Startup Weekend for many serves as a catalyst to help create and foster a local community that could only ever hope to develop into something close to what the Tri-Cities already offers. I think we have an opportunity to help support our Eastern Washington neighbor develop through our community-building success. The Tri-Cities is a leader in community-building on many fronts, and it is due to the efforts of many engaged, passionate, and visionary people within the community (thank you!).

Therefore, if we already have a vibrant community, why did we organize a Startup Weekend? There were many reasons for this event, and the personal reasons probably will vary depending on who you ask. But I’ll share my perspective of why I worked my tail off to help ensure its success Sept. 20-22: our Tri-Cities does not realize how awesome the community here is. We are a community of smart, creative, passionate and game-changing people. Things and ideas happening here in the Tri-Cities reach beyond the scope of government work or nuclear fields. Not only does the Tri-Cities not have a true perception of itself, Tri-Citizens who should be engaged in the facets of the community that fit their creative, passionate, game-changing selves don’t all know about the resources available to them. Startup Weekend serves as a catalyst to help identify people who should be active in sub-communities within the Tri-Cities. Who have been seeking interactions such as coworking, collaboration and engagement in a community that inspires and empowers people to pursue their entrepreneurial startup dreams.

The Tri-Cities is special. We are a unique place. And because of our uniqueness, we had a uniquely Tri-Cities Startup Weekend. Support, encouragement, belief in abilities, commitment, connectedness, and clarification of ideas came out of our Startup Weekend. People who weren’t fully sure now believe in themselves. New friendships were made. Pitch nights were revived and more great community-building things are yet to come. I am so grateful for community.

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Becca Lingley

Hi, I’m Becca. I am a huge fan of doing things that make the world a better place. Generally that’s through helping one person at a time but I also like helping nonprofits and ideas be successful. I enjoy working in education because personal and professional development is so fulfilling and helping others achieve that experience and develop their abilities is personally rewarding.I love buying local and being local, baking my own bread, supporting my community, reading resumes, living a healthy lifestyle, getting excited about and championing new ideas (coworking!). I love economic development, though I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with it. I’m an idealist and a believer, with a personal life goal of doing my part to make the world a better place.

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  • This is so great Becca! It was very exciting to follow along with the Startup Weekend news on Twitter over the weekend. Really bummed I couldn’t be there. I had other commitments that I had made months ago. I loved how non-tech oriented many of the pitches were. I think in some of the existing entrepreneurial communities in the Tri-Cities area (and in global startup dialogue in general), tech-centric topics and projects dominate.

    At first I was kind of bummed that certain key figures in the local technology/entrepreneurship scene chose not to be involved with this event, but in the end, I think it was actually a very positive thing! While I think it required a different group of people to take up more of a leadership role (which you all did AMAZINGLY at from what I could see), but it also sounds like it required you to reach out beyond the normal pool of influence to make it a success. I LOVED the fact that I didn’t recognize most of the names of the participants. That alone…is a HUGE accomplishment!

    From my perspective, the event looked like a ton of fun. It seems like you were very successful in providing a venue/format that motivated people to stretch themselves and take action on innovative ideas that–without this event–they very likely would never have had the courage to do. And it certainly doesn’t seem like the primary objective was “winning” (maybe it was). But it seems like last weekend served as a powerful tool to bring people out of their shells, interact with and become friends with other amazing people, and make progress on some truly fantastic sounding ideas. And with your LinkedIn group and chats of ongoing meetups, that the energy and greatness that was felt during the event will grow into even better things.

    Congratulations to everyone who participated and especially for those who put SO much time, energy, and love into making it happen!!

  • Erik Ralston

    Man, that energizes me 🙂

    Startup Weekend’s prize is just a plot device, a Maguffin to get the characters to interact in a greater story.