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This post is by Jose Iglesias, Regional Manager at Startup Weekend Europe.  Before joining the Startup Weekend core team, Jose previously organized Startup Weekend Galicia.  Jose then went full-circle and facilitated the fourth iteration of the event July 12, and his thoughts on the weekend are below.

It has been exactly one week since the fourth edition ofStartup Weekend Galicia, in the Vigo headquarters of Elogia for the second time.  Challenges abound!  Seven projects were created over the course of the weekend:

War of Sides: A game in which you conquer cities in real time, armed only with your mobile phone

ReceTic: Diet recommender based on statistical analysis with gamification elements

BeEasy: Multilateral platform that facilitates improved communication and interaction between brands, consumers, and bars

Miradi: A website for finding and sharing ideas; you can post project proposals, gain visibility, and find a team

Deskally: Do you have a business with excess space? Deskally is the Airbnb for businesses.

Here I Am: Application with which you can track your kids using GPS.

Making Smart: Identifies opportunities for professionals based on the intelligent interpretation of LinkedIn data; Siri for professionals.

Yes – you read that right – all of these projects were created over the course of a single weekend.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Without a break.  In July.  And the attendees paid to do it!  And first-class mentors such as Miguel Silva, Javi López, Carlos Otero, Manuel Montes, Jaime Novoa, José Alcaniz, Miguel Lorenzo, Lalo García, Pablo Conde, Rubén Bastón, Víctor Salgado, Xoán González, Juan Guell, Luís Sestelo, Susana Gómex, Ismael Faro and Jacobo García-Durán volunteered countless hours of their time to help the teams succeed.

The crazy people from Elogia gave us all weekend to run free in their offices again.  The support and sponsorship of the Fundación Novacaixagalicia, AJE, Quobis, Pintos & Salgado, Coca-Cola, Cambalache, Vindeira Capital, Duplo, EYEDO, Indenext, Streaming Galicia and Verde made it all happen.

And because we are doing this backwards, here is what we should have started with: what is Startup Weekend?

We could say that it is the premier community for entrepreneurs in the world, that we are in more than 130 countries, that more than 120 thousand people around the world have attended our events, that hundreds of successful ventures have launched at a Startup Weekend…but one person described all of this in the best way possible after attending Startup Weekend Cebu in the Phillippines.  This person wrote a post on his blog intending to alert the world about the nefarious agenda lurking in the shadows of Startup Weekend.  “Beware of Startup Weekend, it is a conspiracy,” the title warned, and I, first as a volunteer organizer and for the past few months as part of the 30-person core team, couldn’t agree more.

We are a conspiracy, an oasis in the middle of a desert full of conformism, of negativity, of obedience.  A place in which the word crisis does not exist, in which people do not remember everyday problems. An illusion.  A 54-hour period of time in which you are free, capable of anything, in which the need for sleep and resulting fatigue are completely eclipsed by your drive.  A reunion for crazy people.

What is our goal?  We want that 54-hour hiatus to never end, and for the desert to become the real illusion.

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Claire Topalian Claire Topalian
(@clairetopalian) Blog, Professional Writing, Communications and PR Specialist. I craft compelling, mission-driven content for companies and individuals that amplifies brand awareness, fosters community, and drives engagement. My experience includes work with tech startups, major corporations, and international non-profits. @clairetopalian