Startup Weekend is one of the leading catalysts for startup creation and entrepreneurial education around the world. Its mission is to educate and inspire entrepreneurs and give them the motivation and networking opportunities they need to take the next step in creating a successful startup company.
Its goals are not limited to just creating local startups, it is educating, inspiring the mindset switch (from employee to entrepreneur) and the development of risk taking culture. Part of the learning experience at Startup Weekend is demonstrating practices that encourage growth and innovation.
Even if they do not continue to work on their ideas, many people take the experience and apply it at their current jobs. Others use Startup Weekend as a testing ground either for their ideas or for what joining a startup would be like. Whether entrepreneurs found companies based on the idea they pitched and developed during Startup Weekend, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill outside their usual job, including learning how to work under pressure and really fast, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared for the challenging world of startups.
In Moldova, there are no entrepreneurial ecosystems, and the education is still focused on preparing people to get jobs, with a little emphasis to teaching how to develop own businesses and create jobs, it is difficult to observe immediate results out of Startup Weekend events. Also, the fact that good IT professionals are in a constantly increasing demand, with very generous job offers from different companies, and a very little support infrastructure for startups on the other hands, is delaying many people’s decision to quit their job and become entrepreneurs.
However, getting international exposure and generating interest from accelerators and incubators from the region, as well as experienced western entrepreneurs or investors, can catalyze and foster the startup community, as well as empower the creation of local support ecosystems.