Geoff's Blog: Startup Champions in Baltimore, Coworking in Montreal

Every Wednesday Geoff publishes "The Pull", a digest of the top news for the Iowa innovation community that week. The following is the introduction to Issue #168.

Bonjour from Montréal! I'm up north for the Canadian edition of the Global Coworking Unconference Conference or GCUC (they pronounce it "juicy"—really, they do!). I participated last year when the conference was in Toronto and found so much value in it that I knew I needed to come back this year. I've been to America's Hat™ a few times but this is my first Montréal experience. It's also the first time that I've wished I had paid more attention in Mademoiselle Lange's French class in high school. I've had to play the "ignorant American" a few times including at the first coffee shop I found. After the proprietor greeted me in French and I answered back in English, he politely asked where I was from. I answered "Des Moines" and his face lit up while he said, "but that's French: the monks!" 

I sent last week's newsletter while I was en route to the Startup Champions Network summit in Baltimore which was once again a great event. It was a two-day discussion on the topic of diverse and inclusive startup communities with 75 or so other startup community-focused folks from around the country (including fellow Iowans Andy Stoll and David Tominsky). It was great to check in with colleagues from places like Santa Barbara and Portland but also a great excuse to spend some time with friends from Omaha/Lincoln, Kansas City and Cedar Rapids that I don't see often enough. Paul Singh's Tech Tour was coincidentally in Baltimore last week, too, and it was fun to hang out with Dana and him again.