Startup Weekends is a label created by Techstars to designate a 54 hour competition, gathering groups around a business idea. They have to pitch to investors and mentors at the end of the event. Generally, all skills are present: business people, designers, web developers or even a Chief Happiness Officer.
The concept: Put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur
The goal of a Startup Weekend is to gather people from different skill backgrounds to make them work on a project together. Meaning that during 2 days (and 5 hours of sleep max), your group will develop the same project but with different perspectives. If you have a business background, you will be in charge of establishing the business model and the marketing and communication strategy, while a designer will be working with a web developer to create a smooth app or website in less than 2 days.
Just to quote the guys of Techstars: “In just 54 hours, you will experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup”. #easy
The Pros: Networking and Pizza
First of all, going to a startup weekend makes you meet people that are around your age (in general), and with the same willing or idea to create something on their own. Building a successful start-up is not the only idea of this gathering, but it’s also about building a team! Both point that you will work 54 hours. By working with people who are outside of their comfort zone, you’ll also find one that suits your expectations!
According to the Techstars organisation, over 36% of Startup Weekend startups are still going strong after 3 months, and around 80% of participants plan on continuing working with their team after the event!
Of course, as every self-respecting entrepreneur, you will enjoy beers, pizza and Red-bull, specifically prepared for you.
The Cons: Price and giving-up your initial idea
Usually, before starting a Start-up Weekend, you will be more than welcome to make a pitch of a business idea, in front of other participants. At the end of the pitch session, people that loved your idea can join you and make a team to work on it. Nevertheless, It could also happen that no one loves your idea (ohhhhh dear, come to Pick & Pow, we are exciting to hear about it). In that case, you have to join another team. The challenge still remains exciting but you won’t work on your initial idea. It can be frustrating.
Moreover, the price is quite high (about 45€ for the one I did) for the service we received, meaning two slices of pizza, water, internet and table.
To conclude, if you have an opportunity to make one, just go for it!! The price is high but it is worth it and will make you even more motivated to create your own company!
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