The Austin Startup Games

When it comes to building a great corporate culture, there are a few elements that I talk about pretty often. First, employees who play together outside work play nicer in the sandbox at work. Second, alcohol helps. Third, companies who have a strong sense of volunteerism and proactively connect with their communities have higher levels of employee engagement.

Once again, Austin Texas has found an awesome way to combine all three of these elements to create one Austi-fied event – The Startup Games. Here’s how the website describes it, “Tech startups compete in ten events for a day of networking, fun and philanthropy. Each company plays for the charity of their choice. At the end of the event, every charity walks away with money for their organization, with the largest portion of the pot going to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams.”

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And because Austin just gets it they’ve carefully selected the games to ensure maximum levels of engagement. Games include ping pong, foosball, darts, shuffleboard, flip cup, beer pong, giant Connect4, Pop-A-Shot, trivia, CEO liar’s dic, and a mystery event. Of course, there’s alcohol involved.

Admit it, if you’re in a startup but don’t live in Austin you’re a little jealous right now. I know I am. Here’s the good news. As I was playing around on their website I realized that the guys who kicked this off want to see others bring it to different tech hubs across the country. Here’s how bringing these games to your community asap will boost your company culture:

All in all, there’s no way The Startup Games would hurt the culture in the organizations that participate. If you work for an Austin startup, checkout the startup games which are kicking off on January 24. Losers might have bruised egos, but the camaraderie that will come from the day will go a long way.

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Marisa Keegan
by Marisa Keegan
Marisa Keegan has held culture and engagement roles inside two nationally recognized great places to work, started the networking group Culture Fanatics, and wrote the book Culture: More than Jeans and Margarita Machines. She was recognized as one of the Top 100 Employee Engagement Experts in the US in 2013 and is currently a consultant to organizations interested in creating a great culture.
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