Last Call!

Sadly saying goodbye to a community.

Joe Maruschak
4 min readJul 15, 2021


The past fews weeks have been bittersweet. Things are opening up post covid. I had some people over for drinks and the grilling of steaks. It was great to hang out face to face, but I could not shake the feeling that this was good-bye and that I would never see them again.

After 11 years of working to help grow the startup community in Eugene, Oregon, I have gotten to the point where although I love the work, it is not sustainable personally.

I started out helping startups with the idea that I would find an opportunity. I was thinking at the time I would find a startup to join and help grow.

My career path took a detour from doing startups to becoming a startup community builder. I ended up either starting or working with several organizations that helped not just one, but several startup companies, and in the process, made friends with, and supported, hundreds of entrepreneurs.

I have been in Oregon for 28 years. I have lived here longer than any other place. Although I was not born here, I have come to consider this my home.

But, I have stopped growing, and I have been finding it difficult to put together enough work that does not make my life a collection of endless side hustles. It is time for me to move on.

I had decided to make this leap in the winter of 2019, but 2020 had other plans than a free ranging grand adventure. I instead took time to think about what I wanted to do, and I know myself better now than I did then. I have a clearer idea of where I want to eventually end up, but do not yet have a clear plan to put it into action, or, more precisely, I do not have an idea of how to put it into action and continue to cover the cash burn of my current situation.

Once we move, we will reduce our monthly spend quite a bit, and without having to worry about being near, and managing a ‘house’, I can free up my brain to come up with a longer term plan that gets me to where I want to be.

Half of the people reading this who know me well will respond to this with a “NO, We don’t want you to leave!” with the other half already queuing up the text messages that will all say “about F*#@ing time!” (and probably a few silent ‘good riddance’



Joe Maruschak

Entrepreneur and Investor with a background in games Adult Fan of LEGO (AFOL). Follow me on Twitter!