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How did BASHH get started?

Did you know BASHH is 10 years old?

Yep! BASHH is now old enough to be in fourth grade, be addicted to Fortnite, and incorporating our first cuss words (graduating from “dang” to “damn” in front of friends because we’re cool as heck).

As we celebrate our ten year anniversary, many don’t know how this all got started. But it’s actually a lovely story. Ready?

Ten years ago, people still didn’t use the internet to meet each other. It was weird. So Twitter launched, and a handful of us in Austin used it regularly, and we got to know each other quickly (back then, you were expected to read all of your friends’ tweets every day).

Most of us were in the tech or marketing field, and we had a lot in common – that handful of us were professionals, curious by nature, and of course, geeky by nature as early adopters.

So two of us decided we should all meet up. Maybe just do BBQ at Waterloo. And so we did.

Confession time

It felt really natural since we all knew so much about each other already – we already felt connected. But it was the first “Tweet Up” in Austin, and we knew we were all on to something special.

But the truth is, I just wanted to gauge people in person to make sure I wasn’t befriending serial killers or whatever. Not that meeting people in person helps knowing that, but doing a gut check is much easier.

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After that fun little meetup, everyone kept asking me when we were going to do it again.

I had somehow been appointed the ring leader.

Okay, fine. I always was one to do the entire class project alone anyhow, because of a weird mixture of overachievement and being overbearingly controlling.

So we did another meetup the next month, and grew from five to 10 people. It was all people connected to the startup world.

And then the next month, we did it again, and we’ve done it nearly every single month since. Startups have been born by connecting at BASHH, jobs have been found, marriages and babies (some on purpose, some on accident) have resulted, but most importantly, it was this town’s first way of getting offline to meet the people you knew online. Easy peasy.

And I’m honored to have been thrust into organizing it, and wouldn’t change that for the world. Love you all!!!

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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