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With so many aspiring entrepreneurs, designers, and developers signed up for Startup Weekend Tirana, the sheer number of faces can be overwhelming for newcomers and veterans alike.

Instead of wasting those precious first hours getting to know the guest list, attending the opening party is a great way to familiarize yourself with attendees and ease your way into the 54-hour whirlwind.

This kick-off to Startup Weekend Tirana will be held at Tulla – Culture Center, a cultural center dedicated to educational activities: art-management, social and art criticism, curatorship, seminars, round-tables and other culture events. We thought it is the ideal location for participants to get to know other personalities at Startup Weekend Tirana

tulla

At the very least, this pre-event is a fun alternative to your usual Thursday-night plans. But if you’re attending Startup Weekend with specific goals in mind, it can also help you.

Five Reasons You Should Attend the pre-event:

  1. Break the ice. This is a convenient way to meet fellow participants before you get down to brass tacks for the weekend. The next day won’t be as awkward when you see some familiar faces while teams start forming.
  1. Jumpstart inspiration. Learning about company ideas early can help you refine your own plan or discover one you want to pursue.
  1. Schmooze with the judges and mentors. Getting to know the judges and mentors is a great idea. It’ll make it much easier to approach them for advice later on.
  1. Integrate into the Startup Weekend community. Every conversation you have with other attendees could lead to a new opportunity, such as a potential internship or job. But don’t get hung up on this. It’ll detract from the fun.
  1. Build excitement for the weekend. Surrounding yourself with motivated people bursting with innovative ideas will get you pumped up for the weekend.

Tips for “Navigating” the pre-event

Chances are you’ll be swimming in a sea of unfamiliar faces, but don’t let that keep you from joining in on the pre-weekend fun. Here are some tips to help you navigate the opening event:

  • Keep it relaxed.Yes, your conversations might look different than your normal dialogue with friends, but this is still an opportunity to get to know people as friends first, not some stiff networking affair.
  • Introduce yourself. Meeting new people can feel awkward, but getting these introductions out of the way in a social atmosphere will make Startup Weekend that much more comfortable. Don’t go overboard with the liquid courage, though.
  • Don’t expect to meet everyone. Don’t pressure yourself to meet every person there. Most people stop by for an hour or two. Feel free to come and go as you please; you’ll be happy you did.
  • Don’t start scouting. If you come to size up the competition, your intensity will push others away. This event is about socializing, not strategizing.

Try to stop by Tulla – Culture Center on Thursday, November 20, at 7p.m.

Aneida Bajraktari