HPA has grown very rapidly over the past seven years. We had our 7 year old birthday in April! We started with a small group, and now have over 120 members, corporate partners, sponsors, student associates, and a cadre of people that help us out. Hyde Park Venture Partners was established and works with the group.
We are happy that we have been able to grow and have an impact on the local midwestern entrepreneurial community. It makes us really happy to see all kinds of activity that didn’t exist prior to 2007. We want to continue to partner with all parts of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the midwest. We love working with entrepreneurs, college students from all places, and large companies that want to learn how to innovate-or maybe become a customer or buy one of our portfolio companies.
One thing we can’t do right now is integrate new individual members into our organization. The entrepreneurial buzz has caught on in the midwest. This buzz is bringing really great people into the ecosystem. We like to see those people get involved. Often, it helps to get active and do some things before you join HPA. Create a profile at Built In Chicago. Start mentoring by hosting office hours with startups. Ohours is a great place to post them. Get active at the new Polsky Center Accelerator. Go to networking events with Technori. Work with companies at the Illinois Technology Association, or at Impact Engine, Chicago Innovation Mentors, TechStars, Gener8tor, or one of the other accelerators in the area. Use your network to make free introductions for startups so they can build their business. The community wants people to get involved and there are plenty of places for people to engage.
We will open up membership again sometime in the future. But right now, we want to get to know all of our existing members and let them get to know each other. We also want to integrate our corporate sponsors and industry partners into our process.
We still want to hear from you if you are interested in joining. Email us through our website. We will let you know when membership opens up again. Thanks a lot for your interest and we appreciate the continued support the Midwestern entrepreneurial community gives us.