Cancer: Bad Ass Startup Chick Denver Hutt Reminds Us We’re Entrepreneurs, Not Super Heroes

Denver Hutt, Speak Easy Indy, Indianapolis startup,startup,startup news, Cancer

Denver Hutt (center) surrounded by entrepreneurs. (photo: Facebook)


Back in March, Executive Director of the Speak Easy co-working and startup event space in Indianapolis, Denver Hutt, was our Bad Ass Startup Chick here at Nibletz. We chose Hutt because she’s an Indy lover by choice, deciding to stick around Indianapolis after college. She’s a native of Santa Monica, and who gives up the gorgeous weather, sandy beaches and west coast lifestyle for the middle of the country?

A woman who is uber passionate about startups, entrepreneurs and community, that’s who.

Well like many of us Hutt lives the entrepreneur lifestyle. We originally met her last year on the sneaker strapped road trip when we stopped at a Verge Indy event held at the SpeakEasy. She then came and visited us in Memphis in February for The Startup Conference, and a month later we spent most of the week with her at SXSW.

Hutt’s been shoulder deep in running Indy’s awesome coworking space, finding mentors to help the Indy startup scene and working on the next big thing for Indianapolis startups. With a plate that full she lives the round the clock pace that we’re all accustomed to. She’s the kind of person you can ping at 3am on a random Tuesday to fact check a story or 8am on a Saturday morning to confirm details of events. She, like many entrepreneurs, goes round the clock.

That’s why when she came down with a cough over a month and a half ago, she just kept going.  The cough became pneumonia. The pneumonia became double pneumonia and she ended up with two fractured ribs from coughing so much.

“I have had a cough for quite some time. More than simply being annoying, after weeks of coughing I developed pneumonia, and because I don’t like to give things just 50%, my pneumonia turned into double pneumonia. And two fractured ribs. (How’s that for commitment?!) As my cough continued despite multiple antibiotics, my doctor and I decided to begin more serious testing to determine the underlying cause.” Hutt said in an email to her community members at the Speak Easy which she shared with Nibletz today.

It was determined that the 26 year old bad ass startup chick was staring down the barrel of cancer.

On May 17th Denver began treatment at the IU Simon Cancer Center. She says she’s in good hands at her alma mater. She seemed in very good spirits when we talked with her today, and she is determined to continue to grow the Speak Easy while undergoing treatment.

There’s no exact prognosis just yet. Treatment has just started and her doctors are still determining exactly what kind of cancer it is. Denver is obviously a fighter and she will attack this cancer with the same vigor she’s been leading the Indianapolis startup community with.

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.

Denver had previously committed to being on the “Bad Ass Startup Chicks” panel at the next The Startup Conference. She assured me today that she will still make that appearance next February.

STOP When’s the last time you took care of you?

Find the SpeakEasy here
Denver’s message to friends and family here
Information on health insurance for entrepreneurs available through Startup America here


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    Being in the business incubation industry, one of the primary things we teach is BALANCE. Balance between faith, family, career. In her biography, Mary Kay Ashe said that we should always live our lives with God first, family second, and career third. Not bad advice at all. And, as examples to young entrepreneurs, we should always live the life we are trying to help others to embrace. My best wishes to Denver Hutt. An example of how to live life to the fullest…..but not to the extent that we have no life to live.

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