Earlier today, the Indianapolis, and really the whole U.S., startup community lost one of its most inspiring leaders. Denver Hutt, who led Indy’s Speak Easy startup space, passed away today. Hutt was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013.1
I did not know Hutt very well, having only met her once, but throughout all of my travels across startup communities, I have never come across a character who is more loved or more revered. Way back in 2013, I had the chance to attend the Everywhere Else conference in Cincinnati. It was at this conference that I met Hutt, and heard her speak. She told the crowd a little bit about her battle, and how it has shaped her outlook on life. Kyle, in Niblitz 1.0, summed up Hutt’s outlook and her approach:
When we spoke with her this morning we didn’t want to tell the, “oh my god Denver Hutt has cancer story,” instead her and I decided the story that should be told is that no matter how fast you’re moving, what you’re working on or how close you are to closing that round, you need to take care of your health and your body. That $1 million dollar series A round isn’t going to do you a bit of good if you’re not around to enjoy the fruits of your labor.2
Hutt will be sorely missed, and her impact will continue to be felt for a long, long time. The Indianapolis Star ran a great piece on Hutt’s life, and it provides a good look at the outpouring of both support and grief.
- Mark Alesia, Indianapolis Star, “Leader of Indy entrepreneur group dies at 28,” 16 January 2016. ▲
- Kyle Sandler, Serious Startups, “Cancer: Bad Ass Startup Chick Denver Hutt Reminds Us We’re Entrepreneurs, Not Super Heroes,” 21 May 2013 ▲