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Kicking off Startup Weekend here at the Innovation Center, Daniel Johnsen helped bring together the crowd with a rousing introduction. Johnsen has participated in over 30+ Startup Weekends, ranging from a competitor to a judge, and now as a team coordinator.  Johnsen challenged the idea of “Fail Fast” and proposed his own idea of “Speed to Outcome.” He suggests that individuals work their hardest to head towards an outcome, whether it be a good one or not.

“The importance of this idea”, Johnsen said,”is that you learn from your failures and successes to become a better entrepreneur overall.”

Johnsen then introduced Dr. Christopher Crawford, Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the Ohio University College of Business.

“If you don’t dare greatly, you don’t achieve greatness”, Crawford said.

Crawford challenged the attendees to avoid being normal and expect greatness from themselves. The main topic he wanted the attendees to take away from his speech was “Expectation drives actions, and actions drive outcomes.” Crawford believes that you must expect outlier outcomes to achieve them. You must do things differently from the normal to receive abnormal rewards.

After our guest speaker concluded, Johnsen moved into the pitch stage of the weekend. Various attendees volunteered and pitched a variety of different ideas, which they will vote on later in the evening. David Stroud lead off the pitches with the idea of a solar shade canopy. Another idea pitched was by Michale Adams, who came up with the idea of a mobile t-shirt shop.

Startup Weekend is off and running. Make sure you stop by the Innovation Center on  Sunday to find out which pitches will make the judges cut. We look forward to seeing you there!

Terry Plant-Collins