Since August of 2013 I’ve felt like the luckiest person alive. I spend my days meeting Atlanta’s brightest and sharing their story, I’m in a position to make life changing connections for my neighbors, and my creative muscles are flexed via pun laden headlines and pop culture references to make even the densest topics digestible.
I didn’t always feel this way. Two years ago I had just finished a masters in nonprofit administration, a sector I was itching to get out of. After graduation I went on a slew of random interviews. The most promising was an ad agency where I was in the running for a gig pushing more paper for less money than my first soul-sucking/cubicle gig out of undergrad. The agency was acquired a week after my interview and I was back to square one teaching swim lessons, tutoring SAT essay prep, and googling jobs like “pharmaceutical rep” in desperate attempts of finding a new path.
My main squeeze at the time was studying social entrepreneurship and urged me to check out a free class at Hypepotamus (back in our space days). I stayed after the class, shimmied up to the enthusiastic guy running the place, and asked him “what the hell is a startup” and “is there a place for someone with skills like mine in this sector?” He offered me an internship on the spot. Four months and a hackathon later, he started a new job and I was left in charge – bringing in a fresh crop of tenants, reviving the mentorship program, and hosting community events. Not long after there was a noticeable shift in the tech community. New coworking spaces and tech events were popping up all over the city. Discussing lease renewal terms over margaritas, the three founders and I decided that now there was enough brick and mortar, and a publication was what the ecosystem really needed.
Fast forward 13 months and Hype has become a mega phone for the startup community. We’ve told 1,550+ stories of who is building what, where to find resources, what’s new, what events can’t be missed, who you need to meet/hire/work for, and advice on how to thrive in Atlanta’s tech scene. We’re bigger than 30-year old local publications, we’re more objective than larger business outlets in the city, and the length of our partnership list rivals major technology organizations in town. I could not be prouder of what has been created. It’s been a hustle and it just goes to show that one full-time person, an army of interns, and a close-knit community can do a lot with a fire underneath them.
Because my job is so visible I have received many interesting offers since I’ve started with Hype (… remember two years ago I couldn’t find something worthwhile to stick). Not only cool side gigs hosting a podcast (The Incubator) and being on TV (Atlanta Tech Edge), but full time jobs in the Valley and leadership roles at impressive startups and tech focused organizations in Atlanta. I always turned the full time gigs down – Hype was my baby and I wanted to build it to be large and stable enough to survive long after I’m gone. Now we’re steady and respected, and the time has come for me to pass the baton.
I’ve been offered the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to jump start a space, create company building programs, and build the marketing assets for TechSquare Labs. It’s the kind of offer I would be a fool to say no to: mentorship from two of the most accomplished entrepreneurs in town, learning the ins and outs of venture funding and scalable business models, and working deeper with companies to connect them with resources. With Hype I was able to “build something from nothing” and TechSquare Labs allows me the opportunity to do that again and hone new operational and storytelling skills in the process.
Hypepotamus has completely changed the trajectory of my life. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to build this, story by story, for my hometown.
The ATL tech ecosystem has grown to allow for more talent like mine. It’s time to bring a new Editor on board to find and write ATL’s most innovative stories, photograph the ecosystem, set the editorial calendar, initiate and manage event partnerships, create our bi-weekly newsletter, provide direction and news aggregation for social media channels, herd interns, and curate Hype’s event calendar and job board.
Think you’re up for the challenge? Throw your hat in the ring and tell us why you want to be the next Editor of Hypepotamus. We’re accepting applications until Sept 9th.
P.S – a huge thank you to all the folks who have gone out of their way to make Hype successful. I have never felt so accepted, appreciated and supported.