As a Headstart volunteer, the most recurrent question we are asked is “Why do you do what you do?” Even if “Why not?” would be a totally appropriate answer, the soul of Headstart lies somewhere else and deserves a more eloquent answer.

For startup culture to take root and grow, there are a number of factors that are critical, not limited to capital, talent and technology. At Headstart, we believe it is the idea of helping others grow or as we call it “Pay It Forward”. The simplest way to define “Pay it Forward” is that when someone does something for you, instead of paying that person back directly, you pass it on to another person instead. The world can sometimes seem like an unfriendly and threatening place, especially to a budding entrepreneur. By helping these upstarts find a foothold in the startup ecosystem and enabling them to become better entrepreneurs, we trust that these entrepreneurs will find it in their hearts to recognize and support even more wannabe entrepreneurs when the time comes.

Why do Headstarters believe in “Pay It Forward” principle? It has been proven that acts of kindness build exponentially in a community and because people believe that one good deed deserves another. “Paying it forward” can make the world a better place. We believe that our actions will create a ripple effect in the startup ecosystem and ultimately shape a better environment that fosters collaboration, peer to peer learning and ultimately innovation, for all of us.

The “Pay it Forward” concept is not new, at least to the startup ecosystem. It has been very well documented that Silicon Valley, the temple of innovation and entrepreneurship, owes its status to this very philosophy. Industry stalwarts such as Steve Blank, Bob Noyce and John Schroeder have opined that “Pay it Forward” has kickstarted a chain reaction of thoughtful behavior and collaboration to help build the Silicon Valley of today.

On the 10th of February, 2018 Headstart completes 10 years since founding. what could be more fitting than to celebrate it with HS-X, a national entrepreneurship conclave dedicated to the spirit of “Paying it Forward”! We are a community of pioneers, doers and innovators and for a decade our volunteers have selflessly dedicated their time and effort, towards the cause of Headstart and made it their own. As volunteers, we do not question what’s in it for us. Whatever we know, learn or have, we ‘Pay it Forward’ by giving back to the community positioning ourselves as the foremost grassroots level ecosystem enabler.