RobertCBell Headshot

Dear Salt Lake startup community,

We started Sustainable Startups in 2013 as a community to grow and support entrepreneurs because we believe better people build better businesses. We wanted to support the community in Salt Lake that was working on social, environmental, green, and clean technologies. While working with over 100 startups in the last four years, we’ve seen how much value this amazing community has created together.

From the day we started Sustainable Startups we set out to be a community of doers and change-makers. But over the last few years, our energy has increasingly been spent on being a landlord and collecting rent. This isn’t what we set out do.

2016 was full of change for Sustainable Startups. We decided to close 9,000 sq ft of co-working spaces between our two locations. Closing our space was a necessity based on challenges we faced with the homeless population and drug trade occurring on our front doorstep at GreekTown Collective, and the city redeveloping the space on 400 South. 

But closing our spaces was truly a gift because it helped us accelerate our intention to refocus on the programs and community; because the support and connections have been where entrepreneurs have received the most benefit and value.

Although a lot has happened and changed for Sustainable Startups over the last few years, even more, has changed in the world of entrepreneurship, particularly in Salt Lake over the last few years. Space for entrepreneurs to work and connect isn’t the problem anymore. Sustainable Startups’ co-working model has been taken up by 5+ new co-working space where entrepreneurs and business owners can meet, office, and work. Despite there being new spaces, there is STILL a huge (and growing) need for a vibrant community that provides and shares resources openly, and a supportive place entrepreneurs can go to work through the difficult conversations that people struggle with every day.

The problem we are focused on at Sustainable Startups is that the events and community for entrepreneurs are starting to look more the same than different, and worst of all, most of them aren't particularly useful to the startups and co-founders. The events are more focused on talking about the problems, opposed to working to solve or support people that are trying to solve them.

Despite there being new spaces for entrepreneurs, there is STILL a huge (and growing) need for a vibrant community that provides and shares resources openly, and a supportive place entrepreneurs can go to work through the difficult conversations that people struggle with every day.

So as a step to help address that challenge we are doubling down on providing a community and resources that truly move the needle for aspiring entrepreneurs. Sustainable Startups plan is to transition into a spaceless community and put our energy into the programs and platforms that make it easier for entrepreneurs to get what they really need – support and connection.

We are doubling down on intentionally focusing on the person, and not the company. We are spending more time on providing structure and coaching through our programs. Sustainable has evolved beyond just helping companies trying to make a difference in the world socially and environmentally, now more than ever we are focusing on creating entrepreneurs that are personally, financially, and environmentally sustainable. Not just helping to make the startup itself sustainable, but helping individuals navigate the entrepreneurial journey in a sustainable way as well.

Most of all, we are doubling down on our community. We’ve helped over hundreds of entrepreneurs we have helped from the underserved communities and over 100 startups that have generated nearly $4M in revenue and held over 150 events.

This year Sustainable Startups is focused on transitioning to a new spaceless community and building programs that help make entrepreneurship even more accessible.

We are excited to work with you and our community of entrepreneurs and startups to co-create new value for entrepreneurs through stronger partnership programs, a virtual community for entrepreneurs to connect and support one another, and to find and share the best educational resources available today to make information easier to find, more actionable and accessible, which we call Entrepreneurship FOR All.

Cheers,

RobertCBell Signature

Robert C. Bell

Co-Founder & President

Sustainable Startups

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