Startup Weekend Vancouver
July 24th, 2015
“Startup Weekend is Coming, Startup Weekend is Coming!” is a gleeful shout of the people gearing up for the weekend event at Clark College in Vancouver.
It’s like Christmas.
The closer it gets the more excited we get about the great things that happen at Startup Weekends. People from every area of our community and from far away come to the weekend to create and build incredible business ideas over the course of a single weekend. The energy is amazing!
Here is a blow by blow of what you can expect.
Friday night starts with a really fun and casual pizza dinner for everyone, we get checked in, eat and meet some of the other attendees and most people start to mentally practice our pitches. After dinner we all get to hear from an amazing speaker who has farther ahead on the journey of building a company who helps us all understand how to be successful and move our ideas forward.
Then…. The pitches start… nobody knows how many, some people who never thought about pitching become inspired and jump up at the last minute to share the great ideas that was sparked by listening to other would-be entrepreneurs.
Then we all vote on the best ideas we have heard from that night! it may be your idea or something else that inspired you. What ever it is we select the top ideas by popular vote and we all redistribute among those teams. Its intoxicating to meet the talent and energy that will help grow your teams idea for the weekend. And without delay its off to work. Most of the time the venue has to shoo out the teams to close down for the night. Once the ideas get flowing they are hard to shut down. But you really should try to get to sleep because the weekend is just getting started.
When you show up again on Saturday morning there is an amazing buzz of energy, typing, laughing and tons of smiles (despite people being up earlier than normal for most weekends), and it’s off to work on your idea. Later on in the morning the mentors check in and help you shape and mold your business and answer any challenges you might be facing. What? Lunch already? Don’t worry, you can knock back or nibble and get right back to it. Its amazing to see all the parts of the team working in unison, the programmers are coding, the designers have built an incredible logo, the business development people are talking to potential customers and refining the revenue model. What? Dinner already? then a quick gut check with the facilitators on progress and direction and you are back at it until… yep they have to shoo you out the door again.
OK, The next morning, lots of smiles still, but the keystrokes seems to come a little slower, the coffee seems a little more important and oh thank god for the mentors helping knock down those road blocks! What? Lunch? how does that seem to happen so fast every day?!!?? ok, you can just eat at your desk and graze. More coding, more design, more business validation and soon we have your first real pitch practice!!!! Your chance to get in from of the organizers and key mentors to help you rock your final presentation. Its coming up soon! The finish line is close! Pencils Down! and….. Dinner. A great chance to detox a little destress a little before the final pitches.
Then no pressure… You get up in front of the judges and pitch your heart out, make your case and show off your teams sweat and hard work.
THEN………….. Thats when the fun starts, the awards are almost anticlimactic because you realize that everyone wins, everyone has had an amazing weekend and bonded with a team to make great things happen. Yes, some walk away with the hardware and some with accolades, but everyone walks a little taller and struts a little bit more come Monday morning when they walk back in to work. Cuz…. “I built a business in 54 hours this weekend, what did you do?”
I know it sounds like a fairy tale, but come out and spend the weekend with us you’ll agree, there’s a magic to these weekends.