ShedCast: Deborah Rippol on spreading Startup in Europe

As the European Director of UP Global, Rippol has spread startup culture across 120 countries, helping to inspire over 200,000 entrepreneurs

By cbm

In 2011, Deborah Rippol showed up to her first Startup Weekend thinking that she’d just help with the coffee. Instead, she was eyes wide open for a full 54-hours, and ended the weekend winning the competition with her idea for Jimmy Fairly, which is now a fully operating business. 

Since then, Rippol has helped run 1,500 events in 120 countries and taken over as European Director of UP Global, the new brand that now encompasses Startup Weekend, Startup Digest and NEXT, a pre-accelerator program. 

We asked Rippol to come by the Makeshift Shed to talk to us about UP Global’s official launch, the journey she’s been on since that first weekend, and the many days she spent helping Startup Weekend grow in Europe from her laptop in a Starbucks.

In our interview, Rippol tells her story of building out the Startup Weekend team from 0 to 5 employees, and how she keeps her team inspired. (Hint: It’s about asking how she can help, not telling them what to do.) She also shares her best tips for running startup events on both a local and international scale.    

When Rippol isn’t helping ‘entrepreneurs’ become ‘Entrepreneurs’ (with a big E), she’s helping her team land partnerships with companies and organisations like The White House, Google and now the European Commission. 

For more on Rippol’s adventures in Europe, listen to our 5th Makeshift ShedCast on SoundCloud, and be sure to share it with your favourite people in the world of startups!