This will be one of the harder articles for me to write — not because of any emotional attachment or creative malaise, but because I have to thread the needle of telling you why this Monday’s ExitEvent Startup Social will be so incredibly awesome without giving up too many details. I have to stay vague out of respect for the privacy of said folks helping to make this Monday’s Social so awesome.

In other words, if you’re an entrepreneur or investor, you have to be at Monday’s Social. I just can’t tell you where it is. Yet. I can tell you it’s at 6:00 pm and in Chapel Hill. I can also tell you that close to 100 other entrepreneurs and investors have already signed on to be there without knowing where it is.


But I can tell you this.

It doesn’t take much for an entrepreneur to give back to the entrepreneurial community. And what’s more is you don’t have to have exited or made a bunch of money or be the hottest startup. You just have to show up, listen, and talk. It’s that simple.

We’re proving that monthly at the Social, and we’ll prove it again this Monday.

The ExitEvent Startup Social is a room full of entrepreneurs and investors coming together for the sake of coming together. When you put a bunch of smart, creative, talented people in one place, they tend to make the most out of the situation on their own. Thus, there are no name tags, no speeches, there is no selling, and there is no crap.

There is free beer, sometimes food, often music, and always a genuinely relaxed atmosphere where you can let down your guard and get plugged in with your peers.

All that I ask in return are two things.

1) You’ve got to be an entrepreneur or investor to attend. It’s not an elitist thing, it’s what makes the event work. Trust me. You’re not missing any glitz or glamour, and you’re not missing any sales or networking opportunities. It’s not like that.

2) You’ve got to keep coming back and spread the word, so the momentum is maintained. I know you’re busy. I’m busy too. I’ve worked every single day since July 4th — and that means 8 hours on the weekends (17 on Labor Day), and usually 10-14 on the weekdays. You’ll know this because you haven’t seen me lately.

But I make the time, because I need to give back to others and they will more than likely give back to me. I come out of the Social knowing more than I did going in, and feeling better than I did going in. Others do too. Without fail.

Of course, the longer you’ve been at this, the more successful you’ve been (because let’s face it, if you’ve been doing this a long time, you’ve been successful, or else you would’ve gotten out), the more you have to give back.

I love and appreciate when the exit entrepreneurs, the serial entrepreneurs, the growth stage entrepreneurs, and the well-known entrepreneurs show up — in fact, they’re what makes the ExitEvent engine run.

But if you’re early stage or just starting out, you have a lot to offer too. From new perspectives to fresh energy to the point of view of a person who hasn’t had to unlearn and relearn everything yet. Some of the best entrepreneurs are some of the least experienced.

Of course, some of the worst are also some of the least experienced, which is why you should listen to what those grizzled vets have to say.

I’m always excited when a new Social comes around on the calendar, and I’m especially excited for this one because, just based on where it is and who will be there, it’s a prime example of entrepreneurs leading the community and entrepreneurs giving back to the community. If this event remains a catalyst for that, it will sustain itself without me ever having to entice you to come.

Convince you to break away from your busy schedule? Maybe.