“Here’s what we’ve got,” Kristian said as he pulled up the final list onto the big screen in the conference room. I leaned back in my chair as I read through the options.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you know that naming a business isn’t easy. But picking a name for a community may be even more nerve racking. It’s not just your organization, it belongs to the group. I could feel the weight of the decision in my gut as I digested each potential name on the list.
“So, what do you think?” Kristian asked after it was clear that I was rereading through the list for the sixth or seventh time. Kristian Andersen is one of the top designers and branding minds in the industry. And as the founder of Indianapolis-based design firm Studio Science, Andersen’s team had crafted a list of about a dozen final options for a new name for our Midwest-based group. The problem was that there were several names in the list that tugged at my curiosity.
“I really like Verge,” I said as I looked to the group for feedback. I was still timid about pushing the group in any direction back then, because much of the magic behind Verge is the ideas, energy, and execution from everyone within Verge nation. Fortunately–and eventually unfortunately–for us a lot of people like “Verge” as a name brand.
We picked our name and the Verge community grew.
And we’ve learned a lot along the way.
Thanks to leaders in other growing tech communities and our supportive sponsors, we’re now 3,000+ members strong in four different cities in the Midwest, with several more locations on the horizon. Each hub hosts their own pitch nights, where entrepreneurs share their business, technology, and vision with a growing group of investors, founders, and builders. And that takes guts.
Pitch Nights have become a headquarters for bold entrepreneurs building tech businesses outside of the bubble of Silicon Valley. And these Verge headquarters in Middle America have given a heartbeat behind our purpose-driven community.
Now our Verge community is on the verge itself.
Together, we’ve built a home where you can find candid stories about entrepreneurs and technology on the verge. And we’re building more and more places where you can find that community of sharers.
Since we picked the name for our community back in 2010, several other organizations decided they like using the name “Verge,” too. They each have their own focus and luckily one sharp community member, helped us protect our IP and helped us trademark our name. That’s pretty great, because we’re pretty fond it 🙂
And our Verge is growing. Soon, you’ll be able to find a geographic HQs north, south, east, and west of our flagship HQ in Indianapolis. We support Verge HQs across the Midwest and anywhere outside of Silicon Valley to support and celebrate entrepreneurs growing tech businesses. So here’s what you need to know about our next chapter of growth…
VergeStartups.com is now VergeHQ.com
We like to keep things simple. Many of the entrepreneurs in our community have grown their business beyond the startup stage. But they’ll always be on the verge of the next big things. And we’ll be sharing those on the new VergeHQ.com (hint: you’re reading this post now on our site now).
You can find new areas to explore on VergeHQ.com:
- The COMMUNITY section where you’ll be able to find pitches from founders around the world and entrepreneurial insights you won’t find on other tech or leadership blogs.
- The ABOUT section that shares our story of growing up in the Verge community
- The START HERE section that shares many of the tools I’ve used in building businesses in the past and the tools we use today at Verge to keep adding value for our founders. The cool thing is, most of these tools were built by people within Verge nation!
And you can still finds old posts. Here are a few of my favorites:
- The Top 20 Startups of All Time [Infographic]
- What’s the Biggest Mistake Entrepreneurs Make When Pitching for Seed Funding?
- The 12 Most Powerful Questions You Can Ask a Mentor
You can get our best stories and some cool event opportunities delivered to your inbox on our Verge VIP list. Just sign up on VergeHQ.com to get updates. We’ll also be doing some cool new things with social…
On Twitter: @VergeIndy is now @VergeHQ and #VergeHQ
Verge has grown far beyond Indianapolis. You can still find founder stories, investor advice, and snapshots of the Indy community on @VergeHQ, but we’ll be featuring more of our VergeHQs around the country as well.
And here’s where the real potential is.
As we continue to support our community of entrepreneurs as we add new Verge HQs in new cities, we’ll raise the signal for all of Verge nation. When we share and amplify the entrepreneurial stories and new technology built outside the Valley, we build momentum for the Midwest and tech communities on the verge around the world.
As I finish typing up this post, I’m getting ready to step in front of a crowd of 250+ people.
Why? Because tonight in Indianapolis, we’re celebrating Studio Science—the same experience design agency I found myself sitting in four years ago, deliberating over names for our community.
As I left Kristian’s Studio Science offices four years ago, I thanked him and his team for helping us create our new brand. But his response surprised me and stuck with me ever since.
“A brand or a name is just a vessel,” Kristian corrected me. “It’s up to you to fill it up.”
So, thanks to you for helping us fill it up. We’ve built something magical here. I’m so grateful that you’re a part of Verge and I appreciate your support of entrepreneurs everywhere through @VergeHQ and VergeHQ.com.
See you around #VergeHQ