Galvanize currently houses over 130 tech startups and upwards of 350 people at its flagship Denver location.
Rewind back a little over a year ago, before the Gather Café existed, before the suites were filled and perm desks were put in, way before the atrium buzzed with the energy of a few hundred driven entrepreneurs. This was back before Galvanize was really Galvanize.
Back then, 1062 Delaware St. was a mere shell of what formerly held the Rocky Mountain Banknote building and P.S. 1 Charter School. But the vision put forth by founders Jim Deters, Chris Onan and Lawrence Mandes was enough to convince Adam Rentschler to become Hot Desk Member #1.
“I joined Galvanize about a week before Denver Startup Week, and back then it was empty, loud and still construction-y,” said Rentschler. “I took one look around, saw the potential for community and it was immediately clear this is where my company needed to be.”
Even though Adam quickly saw how this would be the perfect fit for Valid Eval, there was still one last hurdle to jump. “I had known Chris Onan for seven years and he still made me go through the application process,” joked Rentschler.
“There’s no opting out of our process. Galvanize is a vetted environment of tech-doers. There are lots of great entrepreneurs out there, but they also have to be great people and want to actually be part of this community,” said Onan.
“A curated community really matters when you’re trying to build this kind of environment. The value is in those unexpected collisions and that’s the genius of Galvanize,” said Rentschler.
Part of the reason those kinds of connections resonated so deeply with Rentschler, lies in the foundation of his current venture. Valid Eval helps organizations make more defensible decisions on awarding grants, contracts, investments and admissions for entrepreneurs. While doing so, it give entrepreneurs actionable feedback they can use to improve their businesses.
“The genesis of Valid Eval was one born out of our frustration. I’ve been a part of more failures than I care to admit and so have most other entrepreneurs. But we seek to turn those mistakes into teachable moments.”
One of those teachable moments for Valid Eval actually came from Galvanize co- founder, Jim Deters. “Jim really gave me one of the best criticisms I’ve ever received when he asked, where’s the burning platform that will make users commit.” “That’s the brilliance of Galvanize, this is a place where everyone has something to learn, and the best teachers are the ones who are still learning from each other.”