This entrepreneur convinced investors to pour $1m each into a brand-new town

Ryan Begelmam started a buzzy conference called Summit Series.

August 4, 2020

Last Friday I gave up my San Francisco apartment and left California with my wife and dog to find a new place to live. I’m staying in Airbnbs in suburban areas for 4-ish weeks at a time until I find somewhere I love.

This week I’m staying at Ryan Begelman’s house in Eden, Utah.

I met Ryan in our Trends community. He’s a 37-year-old entrepreneur who started conferences for industry leaders called Summit Series. The first happened in 2008. A few years in, Ryan and his partners wanted a permanent location. 

So they convinced dozens of attendees to invest $1m each in exchange for a plot of land in their nonexistent new town. With that money, they bought Powder Mountain.

I read about Ryan in 2013. At the time, I thought it was stupid. A bunch of elite techies secluding themselves. After yesterday’s tour I realized I was wrong (here’s video). 

The boldness of a few 20-somethings building a new city… it’s intoxicating. They had to build everything… fire hydrants, roads, streetlights. Everything. From scratch. 

“We studied the best communities and took from the best,” Ryan told me. “Like Serenbe, Georgia, which has mailbox hubs for each 20 houses so people meet one another. And regular talks, wellness classes, group runs to create shared experiences.” 

It expanded my perspective of what’s possible with some grit and luck. You can read more about them here.

I’ll send an update next week about my trip. 

Sam, Founder & CEO of The Hustle

P.S. I’m reading Tribe, a book on finding community and what makes communities great. What else should I read? Tell me here.

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