The Lehigh Valley Tech startup scene seems to be very active. Ben Franklin Technology Partners has an accelerator program at Lehigh University, and Allentown sports a tech accelerator as well. They've held lots of events including hackathons and Startup Weekend.
Tonight we start Startup Lehigh Valley--a peer mentor group for startup founders. Modelled on Startup Lancaster (51 founders!) and Startup Mechanicsburg (31 founders!), Startup Lehigh Valley is only for founders of technology product startups--no employees, vendors, spouses, or lawyers. Just founders of tech product startups.
That limitation is important so the conversations aren't diluted by issues these founders do not face, or perspectives not informed by the experience of trying, failing or succeeding, refining, and trying again, very often at great personal risk, and with ever-escalating pressures that come with trying to deliver on the promise of a vision.
Tonight, 12 founders meet for the first time in Allentown to open up about challenges that face them, listen to each other, maybe challenge each other, and certainly encourage each other.
I'll moderate this first meeting and set the standards and framework for the group to continue on an ongoing basis. Hopefully they'll meet again next month, and someone will take the moderator role, which doesn't require startup experience.
Thanks to Anthony Durante for help getting this started. I'm looking forward to it.