I recently participated in Startup Weekend and LOVED IT! What is Startup Weekend?! Here’s copy straight from the source:
No talk, all action. Launch a startup in 54 hours. Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. Come share ideas, form teams, and launch startups.
In one sentence: Startup Weekend is a weekend-long event that brings together entrepreneurial minds and challenges them to an idea/product/business out of nothing.
I was absolutely exhausted from the weekend. So I took a few days to reflect and collect my thoughts on such an incredible weekend. In rapid fire fashion, here are my thoughts below:
Incredible energy – People came with fantastic ideas, open minds, and a desire to build something new. I expected the energy to be high, but was pleasantly surprised at how much more committed everyone was to making the weekend a success.
Amazing personalities – To give up a whole weekend and work with people you’ve never met before on a new and untested business proposition…it attracts an array of unique personalities!
Passionate people – Everyone wanted to be there and genuinely cared about advancing each other’s ideas, businesses, and products.
Diverse backgrounds and skill-sets – I wasn’t quite sure what to expect before I started the weekend because I didn’t have a purely tech focus/background. Yet people came from many different backgrounds and brought their specific expertise to each group; which only strengthened the collaboration.
Strong ideas – Many pitches were simple, strong, and convincing.
Wacky ideas – Ok, there were a few wacky pitches…but in the essence of the event, they were welcomed and appreciated.
Open-minded attitude – The theme of the weekend, while not official, seemed to be “Why not?!”.
Business focus – Despite the open-minded nature of the event, each group had to make a strong case for the business principles behind their project.
Collaboration – Diverse group of individuals + amazingly high level of talent + passion for innovation = strong collaboration.
Mentorship – Mentors gave up their time all weekend to give amazing feedback and advice to each group. Where else can you tap into decades worth of business, startup, and technology expertise–invaluable experience!
Obviously I am a huge proponent for Startup Weekend and any events like it. If you get a chance, definitely step outside your comfort zone and dive into the world of fast-paced entrepreneurship for a weekend. While I can’t guarantee anything, you’ll likely walk away with new ideas, new contacts, and a fresh perspective. Worst case, it was only a weekend! Still not sure…just DO IT!