As a veteran of corporate America, I considered myself well versed in stressful situations, tight deadlines, and ambitious milestones, that is, until I experienced Startup Weekend. I had the opportunity to participate in this amazing event 10 months ago and served as the bridge to go from a corporate employee to being a full-time entrepreneur. Here is how it works.
The 54-hour, bootcamp-like event is an exhilarating experience where developers, creatives, and business people meet with the common goal of building a business over the weekend. It all starts with the pitch where you get a minute to share your idea and get other people attracted to it. The most popular ideas get selected, and people are free to join any of the prospective startups.
While the stakes are seemingly low, the drive to solve problems impregnates the air and keeps people going, although there are plenty of caffeinated drinks readily available for those needing the extra boost. The hours fly by as teams strive to come up with a Lean Canvas based plan, meet with experienced entrepreneurs, and most importantly, test and iterate based on their customers’ feedback.
The last day of the event, the sleep-deprived teams make their way to the stage to pitch their newly built company. While the teams that place get some great prizes, you can tell by the smiles in everyone’s faces that they have all won. They have conquered the biggest fear of every aspiring entrepreneur; the fear to start.
That dream of creating something bigger than ourselves seems to be universal. If you agree with that statement and are thinking about starting a business or solving a big problem, Startup Weekend by Techstars is one of the best ways to get started.