What is Startup Weekend Louisville?

 

It’s time again for Startup Weekend Louisville! Our 11th consecutive event is coming up this October, and we’re so excited to be bringing this 54 hour frenzy of fun, innovation, networking, and entrepreneurship back again!

Check out the recap of Startup Weekend Louisville #10, held at the Kentucky Science Center and LouieLab in April 2017.

Recap of Startup Weekend Louisville 10

Since this will be our eleventh event, we’ve learned a great deal about what Startup Weekend actually is, but many people that haven’t been still don’t know. One of the most common questions we get is “What is Startup Weekend?” We want to answer that with the words of the people that have been there.

Welcome to”What is Startup Weekend Louisville?

In this ongoing series, we’ll present what past attendees have to say about their time at Startup Weekend Louisville. We hope it will give you a better picture of how and why we do Startup Weekend in Louisville. We’ll be posting accounts, results, and stories from past attendees as we get closer to Startup Weekend Louisville #11 on October 13-15, 2017.

For the first post in our series, we present the words of Startup Weekend Louisville alums Amy Shah and Cara Loeb.

From Amy Shah – Lessons from Startup Weekend 9 Oct 2016

Tonight was the last night of Startup Weekend Louisville #SWLou. While my team did not win this frenetic and exciting event, I have to believe we came out of Horrigan Hall at Bellarmine University budding entrepreneurs and stronger people. I personally learned more about myself as my teammates and I took a personality inventory called DISCFLEX suggested by Kirsten Bullock. (I was later surprised to know she is related to one of the founders of the Bronsted-Lowry acid base theory!) I was also able to learn how to use a Google Drive and various shared uses of documents in that drive. Martin Lindsey encouraged me to learn WordPress by showing me the ease at which a great web page can be developed. And I signed up to learn more at a conference later this year based on this experience. This was just such a valuable pearl. The whole weekend had me coming out of my shell and meeting new participants. I also learned how to do customer discovery which is something I knew less about but soon became immersed in. I appreciated the quiet strength and patience of Jeanette Brown as she participated in our group. As we worked with founder Beth Givens to create her tutoring company Bocca del Lupo (@boccadellupo), I was inspired by the hope that only creating new things brings. There were just so many skills I gained from the experience that I truly encourage everyone interested in entrepreneurship to take part.

From Cara Loeb – Testimonial about Startup Weekend Louisville 10 April 2017

I can confidently say that Startup Weekend changed my life. We went in with an idea that couldn’t quite catch its stride. The mentors gave us fantastic advice on how to find our customers, encouraged us to go out and do field research, and gave us a better-defined model on how to make money from our app. Not only was Startup Weekend a great opportunity for learning how to get an idea turned into an actual product/service, but it also taught me that my faith in my company can be tangible if given the right direction. It was a weekend of fun, high-energy people that are simply there to improve our world in some way. Not only did we win second place, but we also made a lot of great connections, both locally and outside of Kentucky, to help us create a better educational app. Our company, CritterFacts, now has a growing customer base and an improved business model thanks to the mentors and judges of Startup Weekend.








Avoid the Regret

The participants, organizers, volunteers, coaches, and mentors at the close of Startup Weekend Louisville #10 in April 2017.

 

Not pursuing an entrepreneurial opportunity – inaction – may produce a sense of loss when someone else successfully develops the idea or when the entrepreneur looks back wondering what might have been had that entrepreneur only given it a try. (Economics: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications, IRMA, 2015, p. 135)

Startups fail every day. The risk of failure is a serious barrier to entry for potential entrepreneurs. In some cases the failure falls squarely on the shoulders of those that had the idea in the first place. CB Insights found that 42% of startups fail because of no market need, also known as a solution looking for a problem. I would imagine the majority of these ideas were never properly validated, and there’s no excuse for skipping that crucial step. As Rudyard Kipling once said “We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse.”

Sometimes the idea is fantastic but is executed bigger or better by a competitor. As long as they did everything they could, that’s not the fault of those that failed, it’s just something that happened. According to CB Insights, 19% of startups fail because they get out-competed. As Jean-Luc Picard once said, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life.”

But what about failure to start? How many startups fail because their would-be founder never pursued their idea?

There are so many excuses.

Someone else is already doing that…

So what?! Then you should do it better to make sure YOUR idea comes to life in the right way.

I don’t have time…

This should actually say “it’s not a priority…”

I’m the wrong age for that…

The average age of the founders of Workday, a $1.16 billion, publicly traded, cloud-based financial management and human capital management software company was 52. Vivek Wadhwa and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University, the Kauffman Foundation, and the Founder Institute have all done extensive research on this, and they found that founders 55 and older are two times more likely to launch a high-growth startup. Turns out you’re not too old after all.

I’m afraid to fail…

We’re all afraid, to differing degrees, of failure. It’s usually not an uplifting experience. Fear of failure is reasonable, but succumbing to it is not. We’re all afraid of something. Richard Branson is “generally a shy person” and is afraid of public speaking. Yes, the same Richard Branson that dressed in drag and served passengers on an Air Asia flight, is SHY and AFRAID of public speaking. Imagine the sheer size of his regret if he hadn’t said to hell with it 50+ years ago.

According to this author on PsyBlog “Regret isn’t just a backward-looking emotion, it also looks forward and it can be a terribly powerful emotion which affects our behavior in the here and now.” They also go on to say that anticipated regret (or how bad you think you’re going to feel if you fail) is usually stronger than the real regret that comes with failure! Because of this, we avoid taking risks, we avoid taking chances, and we play it safe as much and as often as we can.

I’m not telling anyone to go base jumping or squander their life savings on beanie babies, but what I am telling you is that failure happens and it’s OK. In fact, there are so many instances of failure spurring people on to amazing success:

  • J.K. Rowling was rejected 12 times by various publishers.
  • Reed Hasting’s first iteration of Netflix was a total failure.
  • Oprah was told she was “too emotional” when she was fired from her first TV job.
  • James Dyson amassed 5,126 failed prototypes before perfecting his vacuum (he’s worth $4.5 billion these days).
  • Colonel Harlan Sanders had to pitch to over 1,000 potential investors before, at the age of 68, he finally hooked one.

I don’t know about you, but that’s a list I’d be happy to count myself a part of.

Eliminate your excuses.

Get a head start on turning your idea into a business.

Get help, get support, and get going. What are you waiting for? 

Register for Startup Weekend Louisville #11 – Right Now!


This was originally posted to the Techstars Community Voices by the author on March 17, 2017. The original post can be found here: http://www.techstars.com/content/community/avoid-the-regret/








Avoid the Regret

Not pursuing an entrepreneurial opportunity – inaction – may produce a sense of loss when someone else successfully develops the idea or when the entrepreneur looks back wondering what might have been had that entrepreneur only given it a try. (Economics: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications, IRMA, 2015, p. 135)

Startups fail every day. The risk of failure is a serious barrier to entry for potential entrepreneurs. In some cases the failure falls squarely on the shoulders of those that had the idea in the first place. CB Insights found that 42% of startups fail because of no market need, also known as a solution looking for a problem. I would imagine the majority of these ideas were never properly validated, and there’s no excuse for skipping that crucial step. As Rudyard Kipling once said “We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse.”

Sometimes the idea is fantastic but is executed bigger or better by a competitor. As long as they did everything they could, that’s not the fault of those that failed, it’s just something that happened. According to CB Insights, 19% of startups fail because they get out-competed. As Jean-Luc Picard once said, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life.”

But what about failure to start? How many startups fail because their would-be founder never pursued their idea?

There are so many excuses.

“Someone else is already doing that…”

So what?! Then you should do it better to make sure YOUR idea comes to life in the right way.

“I don’t have time…”

This should actually say “it’s not a priority…”

“I’m the wrong age for that…”

The average age of the founders of Workday, a $1.16 billion, publicly traded, cloud-based financial management and human capital management software company was 52. Vivek Wadhwa and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University, the Kauffman Foundation, and the Founder Institute have all done extensive research on this, and they found that founders 55 and older are two times more likely to launch a high-growth startup. Turns out you’re not too old after all.

“I’m afraid to fail…”

We’re all afraid, to differing degrees, of failure. It’s usually not an uplifting experience. Fear of failure is reasonable, but succumbing to it is not. We’re all afraid of something. Richard Branson is “generally a shy person” and is afraid of public speaking. Yes, the same Richard Branson that dressed in drag and served passengers on an Air Asia flight, is SHY and AFRAID of public speaking. Imagine the sheer size of his regret if he hadn’t said to hell with it 50+ years ago.

According to this author on PsyBlog “Regret isn’t just a backward-looking emotion, it also looks forward and it can be a terribly powerful emotion which affects our behavior in the here and now.” They also go on to say that anticipated regret (or how bad you think you’re going to feel if you fail) is usually stronger than the real regret that comes with failure! Because of this, we avoid taking risks, we avoid taking chances, and we play it safe as much and as often as we can.

I’m not telling anyone to go base jumping or squander their life savings on beanie babies, but what I am telling you is that failure happens and it’s OK. In fact, there are so many instances of failure spurring people on to amazing success:

  • J.K. Rowling was rejected 12 times by various publishers.
  • Reed Hasting’s first iteration of Netflix was a total failure.
  • Oprah was told she was “too emotional” when she was fired from her first TV job.
  • James Dyson amassed 5,126 failed prototypes before perfecting his vacuum (he’s worth $4.5 billion these days).
  • Colonel Harlan Sanders had to pitch to over 1,000 potential investors before, at the age of 68, he finally hooked one.

I don’t know about you, but that’s a list I’d be happy to count myself a part of.

Eliminate your excuses.

Get a head start on turning your idea into a business.

Get help, get support, and get going. What are you waiting for? 

Register for Startup Weekend Louisville #10 – Right Now!








TaxSmack Takes the SWLex 2016 Title!

 

sw-2016-group-photo

All the teams that competed this weekend did an excellent job; congratulations! We had skills and talents ranging from web developers to excellent public speakers and presenters! All our teams stayed fueled with food and caffeine from local sponsors such as Fazoli’s and Cup of Commonwealth. We all had lots of fun this weekend getting to know each other, sharing ideas, and participating in some friendly competition. This year, TaxSmack won first place for Startup Weekend Lex 2016 led by Paul Hamilton and Dave Gilbert!

Our top 3 teams were:

  1. TaxSmack- making it easier for 5M low-income households to claim missed tax savings
  2. Makify- a 3D printing app that can print out doodles and be mailed all over the world
  3. Whyoo- the Uber for automobile oil changes, where technicians come to you

The crowd favorites were Lannister app, a group payment app making group purchases a breeze, as well as Makify! All the teams had such impressive ideas and final pitches that our judges had a tough time deliberating the winner. There were lots of great ideas this weekend and some awesome presentations.

A few highlights from the weekend:

  • 63 attendees
  • 27 ideas pitched
  • 10 teams formed
  • 7 sponsors
  • 5 organizers
  • 4 coaches
  • 3 judges

The work from this weekend and the ideas pitched serve as an inspiration to us all that even one idea can be made a reality with a little hard work and awesome company! We are so excited to see the success of all the startups from this weekend. More information on all the teams from the weekend can be found here. A big thank you to all our sponsors, organizers, coaches, and judges. It was a great weekend!








Startup Weekend Lexington 2016 – Demo List


Startup Weekend Lexington 2016 kickoff

Here are the 10 demo teams and what they are building this weekend at Startup Weekend Lexington 2016. Teams this year are taking part in the Global Startup Weekend, with more than 15k entrepreneurs at 200+ events around the world this week. For a quick recap of the weekend so far, check out pictures on Flickr and updates on Twitter.

  1. Bluegrass Expeditions
  2. Adventure Incentives
  3. Lannister App
  4. SOS Drones
  5. Flourish
  6. WHYOO
  7. Earned Wellness
  8. Makify
  9. DeeMO
  10. TaxSmack







SWLou Teams Chosen and Going Strong

We have eleven (11) teams that have formed and are competing this weekend at Startup Weekend Louisville #8.  For a quick recap of the weekend so far, check out pictures and updates on Twitter (@SWLouisville and #SWLou).  Interested in watching the pitches? Join us at 5pm on Sunday at our host, UofL College of Business (Harry Frazier Hall, 110 W. Brandeis Ave., Louisville, Kentucky 40292)

  • Socrates, an anonymous question asking application for the classroon
  • Ali Khushub, makes wooden accessories out of historic wood
  • Fun Gym, improves the gym experience for begginners
  • Aqui, a quantitative faculty and student attendance tracker
  • Moonshine Energy, connects Kentuckians with renewable resources
  • Outdoor Tailgating Game, a new game, kind of like cornhole
  • Lists, a coupon app associated with your grocery list
  • We Care/Notify, notifications for companies when employees or families when people pass away
  • Biblio Shop, facilitates college students selling items to each other within a certain area
  • Stundent Loan Payment App, an app that transfers micro amounts out of your accounts and actually makes student loan payments
  • Snap Hunt, helps you find snapchat users







Visualizing the Hustle

It takes more than an idea. Starting a business requires ambition, intelligence, passion, and a plan. It takes long nights of deep thinking, weekends spent glued to a computer, and the stomach to handle all the unexpected success and failure entrepreneurship brings.

Most of all, it takes hustle.

CEO and founder of Uber, Travis Kalanick, spoke to a crowd of entrepreneurs at 2010’s Tech Cocktail Startup Mixology Conference. While there, he shared a nugget of entrepreneurial wisdom that helped ease the uncertainty that so often clouds startup development:

“Fear is the disease. Hustle is the antidote.”

For Startup Weekend Louisville’s 8th iteration, Forest Giant distilled Kalanick’s message into a design that reflected the spirit of Louisville’s entrepreneur community: hustle. Check out the video below featuring Creative Director Jon Shaw’s inspiration for the 2016 design.

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ForestGiant

Forest Giant is company of designers, developers, and strategists driven by opportunities to solve complex problems using software and technology. Learn more about our latest project, Helm, at www.gohelm.io or view our work at www.forestgiant.com/work. Forest Giant is proudly based in Louisville, Kentucky.








Louisville’s Startup Weekend Announces Speaker, Judges, & Sponsors

LOUISVILLE, KY – Startup Weekend Louisville returns March 11 – 13 at UofL College of Business with an impressive lineup of local experts and sponsors. This bi-annual event connects Louisville entrepreneurs, developers, designers and startup enthusiasts with mentors and resources. Throughout the course of this 54-hour event, attendees share ideas, form teams, and launch startups.

Startup veterans and mentors will be on hand throughout the weekend to provide expertise and give talks on their experiences in the fast-paced world of technology startups. The weekend will start off with an opening talk by entrepreneur and Capture HigherEd CEO, Steve Huey. Sunday’s closing judges include Stacy Griggs, CEO of El Toro; Jackie Willmot, COO of XLerateHealth (& UofL MBA); and Moses Icyishaka, Analyst at Chrysalis Ventures.

“Startup Weekend is a valuable asset to the city of Louisville. It brings the city together in support of entrepreneurship and innovation.” says new Lead Organizer Austin Lopesilvero. “The Software Guild, first-time signature sponsor, has played a significant role in making this weekend a reality. Forest Giant and Composable Systems have also stepped up to the plate, bringing both financial support and promotional material, including this year’s t-shirt design.”

Here’s how it works: On Friday night, attendees will take the open mic to pitch their ideas to the group in 60 seconds or less. After groups form, the rest of the weekend will be spent formulating the most popular ideas with the help of mentors and seasoned startup entrepreneurs. By Sunday, teams will be ready to present their ideas in front of a panel of judges who will award prizes, including legal services, pre-accelerators and more, all of which are targeted to continue to help teams build their startups after the weekend.

Other sponsors of the weekend include Humana, UPS, New2Lou, Connecting Things, The Mayor’s Summerworks Program, Fort Phelps Legal and Business Counsel, LaunchIt by Nucleus, and Derby Wars. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.StartupWeekendLouisville.org. Tickets are still available for purchase via Eventbrite.

About Startup Weekend Louisville: Startup Weekend Louisville is an intense 54-hour event where local entrepreneurs, developers, designers, marketers, product managers, startup enthusiasts and anyone interested in building a business will come together to share ideas, form teams, and launch a startup. Follow us on Twitter @SWLouisville.

About Startup Weekend: Startup Weekend™ supports the development and expansion of entrepreneurship through events worldwide that educate aspiring entrepreneurs by immersing them in the process of moving an idea to market. Startup Weekend has built a network of nearly 200,000 alumni, thousands of volunteer organizers and 100 trained facilitators spread across more than 300 cities in 150 countries. Kauffman Foundation, Google, Microsoft, .Co, Sendgrid and Cloudmine are sponsors. For more information, visit www.startupweekend.org or follow us on Twitter @startupweekend.

 








A Word from Our Sponsor: Forest Giant

Forest Giant will be sponsoring the eighth iteration of Startup Weekend Louisville to help develop the city’s growing business community. Founder and CEO Dave Durand has been an active participant from the start and recalls the early days before Startup Weekend Louisville began.

“When I moved to Louisville in 2004 there was a small entrepreneurial community. The web hadn’t blown up with chatter about startups; no one knew what a VC or a term sheet was. In 2010 we got involved with bringing accelerators to Louisville. Although the city really struggled to support those startups once they graduated, they empowered the startup community to see that there are outlets for them to learn and engage in building businesses. From that time period Startup Weekend emerged.”

Since the very beginning, Durand and the Forest Giant team have set out to innovate and inspire. Ranging from city-enhancing projects like Resurfaced to city-centric apps like Louisville Love, Forest Giant has played an active role in developing and representing the city. Sponsoring an event like Startup Weekend Louisville is in the same vein: making Louisville better, together.

During Startup Weekend Louisville’s inaugural event in 2012, the Forest Giant founder played a dual role as mentor and participant. Durand collaborated with three other local tech and business professionals to create CityAnchor, a blog aggregator that showcased the best Louisville-centric blogs in one place. Although competition was fierce, the team won.

“I have a special place in my heart for Startup Weekend to not only teach new entrepreneurs, but creatives, developers, and all minds alike. Startup Weekend is an essential piece for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Louisville. I am really excited that we have it here and am honored to play a part in helping to push the effort forward.”

Forest Giant is proud to be a part of the growth of entrepreneurs in the city of Louisville. The growth, energy, and good that will come from this year’s event and the events for years to come is something we are delighted to be a part of.

About Forest Giant

Forest Giant is company of designers, developers, and strategists driven by opportunities to solve complex problems using software and technology. Learn more about our latest project, Helm, or view our work at www.forestgiant.com. Forest Giant is proudly based in Louisville, Kentucky.








Hustle, Tips to Generating Revenue with Startup Weekend

About the author: Glenn Vicary participated in Louisville’s 7th Startup Weekend in 2015..

Startup weekend might be competition, but the experiences you gain are the real prize. It’s a great weekend full of new experiences and connections. This year, startup weekend is located at the University of Louisville College of Business, a great place with history of entrepreneurship. Everyone can read books and talk about achieving their ideas, but why not spend two days making it a reality? Start-up weekend is a crazy blur of working on an idea with people and help making it happen. Each person is unique, which is why startup weekend groups people into three categories; hustler, programmer and designer. This way, individuals can use their strengths, or develop new ones.

Do you know how to convince a stranger to buy a new product? Your widget will need a great website and a way to accept payment. How about making cold calls to find experts to give input in your business’s formation? Now what about within a 48-hour period?

We finally settled on creating a pizza Priceline service. By the end of the weekend, we had created a website, developed a working contract with local pizzerias, received angry phone calls from hotels for soliciting their customers, and most importantly, sold pizzas to people GENERATING REVENUE! More importantly, we had developed a tremendous network of friends and contacts.

It’s a great process, because you are given the opportunity to pitch your own ideas, but also choose which team you would like to work with. Additionally, they always have great mentors who are there to help you develop your project and and skillset. I highly recommend participate in this rewarding opportunity.

RSVP for Startup Weekend #8 today!
Note: Early bird pricing ends Friday, February 12 at 11:59PM.

If you read this post after March 11-13, 2016, always visit http://www.louisvillestartupweekend.org for the next event.