|Photo Credit: Erica Austin|
Startup weekend will be one of the best, stressful, creative and fun weekends you will have. When I first heard about it I was pretty skeptical, it sounded like a casual pizza evening with other entrepreneurs.
I could have not been more wrong.
First of all, you can join without having any idea of what entrepreneurship is or even if you haven’t been to an event like this before. It is all about collaboration and team work, and by the end of it you will know heaps more than you did before!
The event starts on Friday evening, you enter the building and are given a name tag with either “developer”, “designer” or “business” as a specialty. Dinner is served with drinks and then the pitching of ideas begins. Once people have described their idea in 2 minutes, they write it on a piece of paper and stick it on the wall. Everyone will then form teams around their favorite ideas and start planning out the venture, you are encouraged to pick a team which you think you can provide value towards. Usually around 5+ people make up a team. By this time it’s usually about 10-11pm, some people leave to get a goodnights rest, others stay till 12am until they get kicked out.
Saturday is the big day where most progress happens for all ventures starting at 8am with freshly catered and served breakfast. All meals are also professionally catered throughout the day, last year we had a burrito truck, Bacon Brothers, the Cuban and much more. The cost of just food is already way over the price of a ticket!
Sunday is the final day for the weekend and this means pitching practice to try and present to the judges. Websites and prototypes are finished up and everyone begins to add finishing touches near the final hours of the afternoon. In the evening teams present to the judges and are given a couple of minutes to answer questions. After this everyone was given a free meal and drink from the Cuban across the road while we all nervously awaited the results.
At the end of the weekend you will undoubtedly feel sleep deprived, exhausted but also satisfied and with heaps of new connections to completely random people you would have never met before! If there is one event you go to this year, I recommend it be this one. Not only will you get heaps of great food and drink, but the connections you make through this event can help you greatly in the future, whether it be by employment, careers or other opportunities.
Author: Tim Crellin
Source: Centre for Entrepreneurship University of Canterbury