With startups popping-up everywhere in Silicon Valley across all types of industries, founders are looking to develop a sense of community with their colleagues. These startup community organizations have developed from a desire to exchange ideas, get assistance and tap into a support system to help get through the barriers and challenges on the horizon.
Here are some of the top startup communities in Silicon Valley and nearby San Francisco:
1. Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs
Founded in 2007 and headquartered in San Francisco, this is a grassroots community organization that shares opportunities to share knowledge and experience. They have over 23,000 members that are invited to join in weekly events that can include pitch events, panel discussions, social mixers and co-founder matching nights.
2. Cuckoo's Nest Club
This social club offers a comfortable environment in which to socialize, share ideas, connect with colleagues and potential co-founders and pick entrepreneurs' brains about the best approach to launching and managing a startup. The club has an impressive roster of charter, founding and new members that come together in a community atmosphere for special events and networking. They also provide an atmosphere to connect with impressive investors from the valley.
3. SV Forum
Headquartered in San Jose, this community organization has developed numerous ways to create connections and offer education to all types of startup founders and business professionals throughout Silicon Valley. The organization offers events and conferences as well as forums and numerous strategic partners that provide additional resources that can be leveraged to help your startup.
4. Startup Grind Silicon Valley
This is a global network of startup founders, mentors, entrepreneurs and investors with a strong presence in Silicon Valley. This year’s global conference was held in Redwood City on Feb. 23 and offered an excellent opportunity to get in front of even more startup founders. The group features various speakers who share their stories and offer additional opportunities to network with local entrepreneurs.
5. Entrepreneur’s Organization
This is a global entrepreneur network with an online presence as well as a physical presence through its Silicon Valley chapter. It’s been around since 1987 and has thousands of members all over the world. There are numerous events and meet-ups plus online resources that help your startup. This offers opportunities for friendships and mentoring.
This is the Bay Area chapter of The MIT Enterprise Forum, which is a global non-profit that brings together investors, industry experts and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to assist in the growth of startups, industries and the economy. Since 1990, VLAB has been an established community in Silicon Valley with well-known Silicon Valley companies and leaders volunteering to help entrepreneurs find their way to startup success.
7. Silicon Valley American Marketing Association
Since marketing is such a critical component to a startup’s success, the American Marketing Association formed a chapter within the Silicon Valley to help the local entrepreneurial community with this aspect of business as well as offer networking, professional development, resources and research. The chapter is located in San Jose, but it holds events throughout Silicon Valley.
8. Black Founders
Founded in 2011 as a community organization designed to encourage black founders to create and follow through on their startups, the organization is open to all entrepreneurs as a way to encourage diversity and foster success for all types of founders. They offer events, conferences, "hackathons" and funding opportunities.
9. Startup Embassy
Started by entrepreneurs who realized it would help to have a community available to welcome new entrepreneurs to the Silicon Valley and help them get settled, Startup Embassy has been assisting other entrepreneurs since 2012. Located in Palo Alto, it is a hacker house where international tech entrepreneurs that come to Silicon Valley, can get acclimated and accustomed to a new way of life. Depending on what is needed, you can find collaboration, workspace and physical living space by joining this community.
10. SCORE Silicon Valley
This national small business community organization has a local chapter that is designed to help through consulting and classes, focusing on specific problems and issues that each entrepreneur is currently facing in their operations. Located in San Jose, this chapter of SCORE also has a library of resources on-site as well as events that encourage entrepreneurs to network and help each other.
All of these startup community organizations are designed to fuel innovation and the next round of disruptive products and services that are driving a sustainable national economy. The objective is to keep the idea that this country was founded on, which is that free enterprise and hard work breed success and bolster a nation.