East to West One Year Later

En Power and Light, Tyson Family, and the Cats
En Power and Light, Tyson Family, and the Cats

While going through some old emails today, I found the last newsletter that I sent to my old meetup group, #StartupJax. Coincidently, it happens to be almost the 1 year anniversary that I sent it announcing my wife and I would be moving from Jacksonville, FL to Denver, CO.

This was a big deal for us. We’ve never lived anywhere else, not for college or some whim of a thing in our twenties. We had a very easy stable life…but we weren’t growing towards our goals so we kicked ourselves in the ass to stir things up.

Finding this old newsletter reminded me of the excitement, energy, and gusto that we came to Colorado with. It reminded me that we shouldn’t get complacent.

It reminded me that every moment is an opportunity, and every opportunity is a gift.

My hope is that I find this post the next time I need to get my head on straight.

Thanks past Anthony for helping out present Anthony. (yeah I just appreciated myself…so what)

#StartupJax Newsletter – April 28th, 2017
Let’s get it on with your TOP 3 things for May!

Howdy howdy howdy!

1. Early RSVPs open for our next event  (official announcement next week). We are joining the JaxTech crew at “Main Event” to explore how two local companies are leveraging gamification to make their business awesome. Also…if you haven’t been to Main Event yet, holy cow…go.

2. May 12th, Anthony Catanese is moving to Denver. Yep :(**It’s weird to address myself in the 3rd person**

But it’s true…May 12th is my last day in Jax and I’ll be stepping down as leader of #StartupJax, but this group will be stronger than ever with 2 new organizers joining Philip O’Donnell to run this thing. I couldn’t be more excited to announce that Selina Pagan and Stu Green have accepted leadership roles in #StartupJax! Welcome homies 🙂

  • Selina and I have known each other for some time. She grew up in Jax and moved to the west coast for 17 years. She’s back and is ready to keep the fire alive here.
  • Stu moved here from London right when OneSpark and downtown were buzzing with activity. He met a lot of us at Cowork and has been building startups in the San Marco area the last few years. You may have met him at the last meetup since he was one of our panelists.
  • Read more about the leadership crew: www.startupjax.co/who-we-are.html – reach out to them via the links to their Twitter or LinkedIn and say Hi 🙂
  • If you want to grab a beer with Anthony before he leaves – May 12th:  4pm – who knows @ Dos Gatos in downtown Jax (123 E Forsyth St, Jacksonville, FL 32202) My wife and I are hanging out for happy hour. We’ve literally invited everyone we know to join us…that includes you…come grab a beer. You’re the reason I started this group.

3. Another HUGE announcement – Community First Credit Union has agreed to be the official #StartupJax sponsor for the YEAR. That’s awesome and makes it amazing for putting together programs over the next 12 months. Community First has always come through in supporting local entrepreneurs, and this takes it to another level. Thank you thank you thank you Community First. Without them, I’m not sure we would be around, and some of our biggest events would never have happened.

May is going to be nuts!

=======Now Sappy Anthony Monologue=======

Back in 2013, there was a group of 25 people that met one random evening in downtown Jax. We had no clear goal other than being around great people. Now there are over 1,200 of us and we’re about to hit year 4…WOW… that blows me away.

A lot of people asked me “What was your vision” for the group…and I can honestly say there wasn’t one other than “be around entrepreneurs”…but there were principles. 1) Be Kind  2) Connect everyone we can  3) Give everyone a voice. When someone would reach out and ask to speak, I always thought…does their story inspire, were they giving, and did it match our principles. We’ve now had over 80 speakers and 34 events all across Jacksonville. And couldn’t be more proud, not of what Philip and I have been running, but what you guys did with what we created.

Philip…you rock. Thank you for all your support and connecting so many people here. I truly couldn’t appreciate you more as a co-organizer and as a friend. Selina, Stu and you are great people and can’t wait to see what you guys do!

Thank you all for taking the time help each other and #StartupJax.