Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs, with events in over 100 countries and 580 cities around the world.
The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend Organizers and Facilitators can be found on every corner of the globe. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.
All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model. At 6:30pm on Friday, June 20th participants will meet up at The Entrepreneurs Center. After a welcomed and dinner (provided by Franco’s Ristorante) anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation.
Friday night was hectic and illuminating. After introductions and an overview of the event, the pitches started. The ‘pitch fire’ was a series of sixty second pitches from any attendee that was interested in giving one. At that event, there were sixty ideas presented. They ran the gamut, including:
- a sustainable urban gardening initiative
- an app to blackmail roommates into doing chores with embarrassing photos
- software as a service solution for providing standardized information gathering to venture capitalists for their investments
I filled up a few pages in my notebook capturing the list and figuring out what I’d like to work on and who I’d like to work with. In the end, I joined a team to build compliance software for a small part of the recently passed crowd funding legislation. We found some space and got busy planning.
Saturday was largely a blur. We dove into the work. The two business minded team members spent time going through the legislation, started finding potential customers, and tried to come up with a reasonable price point. The rest of us wrote some user stories, divvied out tasks and started putting together a rudimentary portal and workflow. The mentors (veteran entrepreneurs who were donating their time to answer questions and assist the teams) proved invaluable; we would have been much slower without their insight and experience.
The part that stood out the most wasn’t the work itself, but the environment; it was one of the best and most interesting work spaces I’ve ever encountered. We were surrounded by like minded individuals, each trying to turn the sixty second pitch into a viable business. I expected this to feel like a competition, but it was a community. We wanted each other to succeed.
The weekends culminates Sun at 5pm with with presentations in front of a team of local entrepreneurial judges that includes Jeremy Loyd, Creative Director of Sparkbox, Chris Wallace, CEO, Cambium Technologies and Shawon Brown- Gullette, Entrepreneur and Certified Natural Health Practioner with an opportunity for critical feedback. A first place team will be named and they’ll win a prize package put together by local sponsors. The event co-founders will select the 2nd place project. Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, for the best weekend of your life!
Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. And in case you’re wondering, David’s team decided not to continue developing the product. He shares, “despite our ‘failure’, I wouldn’t trade the weekend for anything. It was intense, fun, and a great learning experience.” If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life! Tickets are $99 or $49 for students.
DaytonMostMetro wants to send 2 individuals to StartupWeekend.
If you think you should be one of those, here’s your first task: Like and share this post, fill out the form below and leave us a comment about why you’ve got what it takes to succeed!
Congrats to our winners: Sarah & Chris.
But even if you don’t win, we’ll be offering all registrants a huge ticket discount- 70% off. We’re extending the ticket discount for those that register by noon on Monday! [form 55 “DMM Contest Entry – Generic”]