It takes a village to raise a startup

July 25, 2022

By Matt Vaadi


Starting a tech company is hard. Startups require access to a lot of resources and knowledge to be successful. Does Columbia have those resources? Yes, without a doubt. Are they going to be spoonfed to you? Nope. You have to go out and find them. Create your own luck.

Community is one of the most important determinants of success. Community is more than just the people around you. Community is what we put in. Community is about giving. Community is about caring.

Over the last three years, we have seen the tech landscape in Columbia start to flourish and continue to evolve. We have seen more groups continue to provide resources in the form of education, community, and networking. Groups like GrowCo, the Founders Institute, and SCRA have all been trying to help improve the vibrancy and resourcefulness of the tech community.

More events, more people freely giving their time and energy to help others, and more companies and institutions stepping up.

Guess what happens as a result? A rising tide.

What does a rising tide do? It lifts all boats.

It is a totally different scene than it was eight years ago when we started guHRoo Payroll & HR. There were very few meetups and entrepreneurs were acting in silos. The scarcity mindset was alive and well.

Today there is a feeling of hope and abundance. There are people giving freely with no expectation of return.

I’m energized by all the great people I have met and had the opportunity to learn from.

If you are not out and about sharing, learning, and connecting, you are doing yourself (and your company) a disservice.

I had conversations yesterday just running into people over coffee that I would have paid a lot of money for. When you show up, you reap the rewards of the community.

We vote with our feet.

Show up, connect, learn, educate, and grow.

That order is very important. Notice I did not say “show up and you will get more sales”.

Creating community and being a part of community is not about selling. While it is a critical part of the ecosystem that we do business locally, we can’t show up primarily with the intent to sell. Show up with a give first mentality and watch as your life improves as a result.

If you are looking for some great events to attend, check out the weekly coffee meetup in Five Points on Wednesday mornings at 8am at the Boyd Foundation Community Innovation Center. If you have events to share, you can put them here.

Let’s grow, Columbia. It’s time to take the next step.


Guhroo is focused on simplifying human resource functions for small to midsize businesses. Through their unique blend of technology and people, guHRoo helps business owners maintain compliance, grow, and focus on their mission. Their suite of HR solutions ranges from online payroll and HR systems to fully outsourced solutions that give business owners their own dedicated experts to fill the voids in their organization. Regardless of where you are with your HR processes, guHRoo can meet you at your point of need.