Startup Weekend!! Wooo!!
Can’t believe we won!! (insert a hearty AWWWW YEAHHHH!! here)
When I think about it, the 54+ hours just sped just like that (the sound of someone snapping this fingers)… but let’s start from the beginning!
I first heard about Startup Weekend (henceforth termed as SW or SWKTM onwards) in early December from a past teacher who was also one of the organizers. He said that it was 54-hour event where people get together and make a business plan and that me and my friends should go for it (me and my friends being MBA students).
At that time, I had just quit my job from and was looking forward to some RnR and the thought of spending 54 frantic hours pounding out a business plan with strangers didn’t seem quite appealing and it slipped from my mind.
Then one day my friend asks me if I want to attend Startup Weekend; this kind of got to me (since he’s not the type of person to waste time on pointless things) and I looked it up again. After reading the SWKTM’s semi-blog, I also looked up the main site.
Startup Weekend has a fixed schedule and program which is same for any event at any location:
The time allotted for any pitches from the first pitch is 60 seconds ONLY. For the final pitch you are allowed 5 minutes. This is inspired by the concept of the “elevator pitch” where you have a very short amount of time to persuade an investor.
By this time, it had already been almost two months since I was unemployed; I had been passing the time practicing my photography and hiking which were both enjoyable but I wanted to do something more. As I read more about Startup Weekend, I became more convinced that it was something that would benefit me, especially since I had wanted to implement my own ideas into a real business for the past few years. However, I had never taken the plunge since either I did not know the people with the right skills, or I was afraid to share my ideas or I wanted to try to do it myself or… the list goes on and on.
Packing my bags
Once we had registered and made the payment, being the methodical person that I am, I wanted to read about other people’s experiences and learn what was ACTUALLY expected of you.
In a way, this post is also intended to help other first-timers learn about what happens at SW just like those other people helped me with theirs so I’ve tried to include information about the event if needed:
On the morning day of event I also came across a video on Vimeo by a college professor which talked about how startups can create a business plan and also introduced me to the Business Model Canvas. This was a multi-part video but I was able to watch only part 2 due to my crappy internet connection. I even tweeted about this and other SWKTM attendees ended up watching it (since we had followed one another after seeing each other’s pre-event tweets). The Business Model Canvas was very helpful in putting a business and its different components into perspective to even me, a final year MBA student (I’m going to try to pass the canvas to other students as well).
After I watched the video for the second time, I turned to my SWKTM checklist (which is still online lol!!), added a few items and hit the print command.
I ran through my notes on what I wanted to pitch and practiced in front of the mirror one last time.
Satisfied, I packed my stuff, got into the car and left my house.
What happened at the event?? How was my pitch?? Did I sleep on the floor??
All will be answered in part 2 (of 3)!!