5 Things to Know When You Come to Youth Startup Weekend

We want Youth Startup Weekend to be as impactful, educational and fun as possible! We believe that the first step to making that happen is to make sure you’re extra prepared before you even come in.

You don’t need to come with a business already created. 

In fact, you’re not allowed to! Come with an idea of a problem you’d like to solve, how you might solve it and the type of team you would need to do this! Our facilitator walks you through the ideation phase and pitching process, so no prep work is necessary!

There are some really awesome mentors, talk to them!

We will have mentors walking around throughout the entire event. They are entrepreneurs, small business owners, and team members from huge companies! Expect to chat with industry experts from companies like Uber, GoDaddy, Nextiva, and so many more!! If you want to bring questions to ask them, do it. These mentors are here to help you both over the weekend and with your future entrepreneurial endeavors.

The best team isn’t always a team of your friends

We can’t stress this one enough. We’ve seen teams form because they’re best friends, but they aren’t all interested in putting in the hard work or passionate about the business. Make sure that you form a team that seems to get along and each team member can contribute something unique.

We use scrum boards for efficiency 

They look like this ^. We have them formatted for you and ready to go, but these help mentors know what’s going on. We’ll show you how to use them at the event.

It’s not about winning

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART, SO LISTEN CLOSE. This event is not about winning. It’s about taking an idea and creating something from it. It’s about doing that rapidly, managing your time well, and getting to know some awesome fellow entrepreneurs in the process. Come with that mindset and you’ll move mountains.








What to Expect as a Mentor to Students

If this is your first Youth Startup Weekend as a mentor, you might be wondering how the structure works and what the role expectations are when you’re here!

Rest easy, dear friends, because here we are with a brief guide on what to expect, tips on being an impactful mentor and an overview of what the weekend entails.

Before we get down to the nitty gritty, I’d like you to envision an adult that had a significant impact on your childhood, an idol or someone who simply inspired you along the road to where you are now. Your role, at its very core, is to channel that person and be that for these students. On top of having an understanding of the startup world and your selected area of expertise, you are a “grown-up” that is showing them that they matter simply by showing up. Showing them you believe in them with your attendance speaks volumes. So… go you!

The Schedule

If you refer to the event schedule, you will have a great overview of what will be going on. So I’ll simply be delving into what to expect during that schedule.

Friday-

  • Students are meeting each other, and participating in a rapid- fire pitch session. They are asked to come with no pre-existing businesses (in fact there are rules in place that they are not allowed to come with something already created). They present a problem they see, a suggested solution and the type of team they need.
  • Students vote with sticky notes for the top 10 ideas (number changes based on head count… max team size is 7). Mentors are asked to circulate the room, ask questions and help assist in forming the team. Make sure the teams aren’t forming because they’re all friends, but because they can work together. 
  • Teams are solidified, and everyone goes home!

Saturday-

This is mostly a heads- down day. We are getting team tshirts donated from Brand X, so the teams are asked to create a company logo before working on anything else so we can send the logos over and get everything printed before their final presentations. Deadline is 11am.

  • Mentors meet before the students come in to go over the existing teams.
  • When students show up, we do a quick and easy tutorial on how to utilize scrum boards. The purpose of these are not only to keep the students on track and organized, but to let mentors know what they are working on and how they might be able to help
  • In the afternoon there is a new round of mentors that comes in, and there is a mentor huddle where mentors can speak to what their team might need and help figure out who else can come in and assist
  • **It’s important to note that one of the most helpful things to do while mentoring is try to stick with your team for a good chunk of your time. This helps build trust, and they typically will ask for more guidance when they feel comfortable with you. We don’t place mentors with teams, but feel free to circulate and find the right fit.

Sunday-

  • Mentors help with refining the business model and helping them with their pitches
  • Some students were finished a bit early, but it was really easy to tell who had spent a good chunk of time practicing and who didn’t. This time around I encourage mentors to help not only with the practicing but to give some practice judge questions!
  • Students pitch to the judges, ultimately there is one prize!

How to be an Impactful Mentor

  • Don’t tell your team what to do or take control. Yeah, that’s super hard when you know the ‘right’ answer but this is their time to explore different options
  • Use intentional question- asking to lead them to conclusions. If they ask you what to do, try leading them to an answer through questions. They should be solving problems and using you as a resource, not getting all of the answer from you
  • These students are bright and wildly intelligent and they’re entrepreneurs right now! Talk to them like adults, not 5-year-olds
  • That said, don’t be a jerk and crush dreams.
  • Look at scrum boards, ask how the teams are doing and listen. “We’re great” is the answer all of us feel naturally inclined to give. Understand that through direct and pointed questions you can get somewhere
  • Ask the other mentors in the group how you can help

Hard and fast rule

  • You cannot, at any point in time, hang out alone with a student. Not for an interview, podcast, photo op, or 1on1 discussion. There are huge issues with that and we’ll all (including you) be in a WORLD of trouble. They’re wicked smart, but still youth.
  • Never ever utter the words “that isn’t possible.” Ever. Never.
  • Never.
  • Not even once.

We are SO excited to have you as a mentor, and can’t wait for you to see these future change-makers and feel the amazing sigh of relief that our future is resting in some remarkably compassionate, intelligent hands.








“You have to love problem solving!”

Being a developer is an awesome challenge and being the developer on a startup team allows you to experience all sorts of new challenges as you build your business! We asked Sahil Saini, founder of AKOS about his life as a developer and what encouragement he would give to people just starting out.








The Creative Life!

There are many roles to play on a startup team! Design plays a key role in the life of a business, and the amazing, talented founder of Attic Salt Rani Sweis talks about his life as a designer and brand specialist.








Tips on Teambuilding!

Earnest Sears Jr., founder of SOS Consulting, shares with us some tips and tricks to building the most effective, most amazing team ever! Bringing together a strong team is part of what makes Youth StartUp Weekend an awesome experience!








Ready to be Awesome?

 

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Welcome to the first Phoenix Youth Startup Weekend! We wanted to get things started and give you some resources, some fun activities and most of all, get you excited for this awesome event!

Before we start, we want to introduce ourselves: We’re the CO+HOOTS Foundation! We work out of and with a coworking space in Midtown Phoenix called CO+HOOTS. Our mission is to CO+Work, CO+Build and CO+Change the World by engaging the creative power of entrepreneurs, start-ups and small business owners. We believe that harnessing the power of risk takers and dreamers leads to innovation and overall awesomeness!

CO+HOOTS started in 2010 when our founder, Jenny Poon, discovered that developing her graphic design business from home was lonely work. She came together with a handful of other big thinkers and one of the top coworking spaces in the United States was born! Over the last 6 years, CO+HOOTS has done some wonderful things… including starting the CO+HOOTS Foundation in 2004 to connect the members of the coworking space with the community around them!

The CO+HOOTS Foundation has done everything from hosting the largest Code Day in the nation to implementing a pro bono week in the City of Phoenix to starting the most individualized women’s business scaling program around. We find out what our members excel at and connect them with our community!

On August 26th-28th we are once again making an impact for good in our city and bringing Youth Startup Weekend to Phoenix! For more information or to get involved see our event site or contact the Foundation Director, Meg Taylor at 602-688-2825.

Now go be awesome!








Tech startup competition reinvigorates computer science senior

Contributed by  on Dec 8, 2014 for InnerCircle, Arizona State University Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering

ASU computer science student Taylor Meeks was part of team that won the top award in a recent business startup competition.

Taylor Meeks was on a winning team in the recent Phoenix Global Startup Battle.
Taylor Meeks was on a winning team in the recent Phoenix Global Startup Battle.

Startup Weekend: Phoenix Global Startup Battle, hosted by Seed Spot,  a local nonprofit business incubator that aids social entrepreneurs, attracted more than 50 people looking to learn more about how to develop their ideas for tech-based ventures.

Many of the attendees pitched their proposals for startups and 10 were chosen to compete in the startup battle.

Meeks and two others joined software engineer Mark Tucker, one of the successful pitch makers, to work on a venture called FunCast. Its product is a party trivia game called Boast, played with an iPad or other tablet devices, with game information displayed on a TV screen using Chromecast, a digital media player.

Teams had about 55 hours to put together a business model, a tech demo and gather some customer-validation data for their products.

“It surprised me how much we accomplished in just a weekend. We created a business model and a working demo of our game in a very short amount of time,” Meeks said.

A panel of local startup founders selected three winning teams. Meeks’ team placed first and was awarded six months of free office space at Desarrollo, a tech startup incubator center in Tempe. The group will soon begin work on the next phase of development for FunCast, Meeks said.

The businessperson who is Meeks’ sponsor for his senior capstone design project had suggested Meeks participate in Startup Weekend to gain business experience.

He notes that only a handful of other ASU students attended the Startup Weekend in downtown Phoenix.

image2-300x225“I was reinvigorated by it. It was cool to be around other passionate entrepreneurial people,” he said. “It would be great for more ASU students to participate.”

Another Phoenix Startup Week is planned for early 2015.

Meeks expects to receive his bachelor’s degree in the spring after completing studies in the computer science program in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering.








Global Startup Weekend brings out Phoenix's top bananas – AZ Tech Beat

Contributed by AZTechBeat, Alyssa Lee

crowd

 

This past weekend, some of the Valley’s brightest developers, designers and thinkers descended upon downtown to hash out an innovative startup idea all within 54 hours at the Phoenix Global Startup Battle. After pulling all-nighters that could only resemble college students during finals week, 10 teams presented their ventures to the public and a panel of successful entrepreneurs for feedback, banana trophies and other prizes.

The top prizes went to:

 From left to right: FunCast developers Al Wold, Shawn Capehart, Mark Tucker and Taylor Meeks.
From left to right: FunCast developers Al Wold, Shawn Capehart, Mark Tucker and Taylor Meeks.

FunCast – a gaming venture that has plans to roll out its party trivia game, Boast.

“I came into this startup weekend already with the idea of party games that you can do on your tablet and on your TV in the family room,” FunCast developer Mark Tucker said.

Boast, which gives players the ability to boast about what they know in a trivia format, is expected to be hosted on Chrome’s app store once the FunCast team finishes the development of the game.

Drive Away – a website that connects car buyers with dealerships across the country and lets them submit a bid on their desired vehicle.

Prodygy – a collaboration platform with a rich library of project-based learning resources to accelerate STEM education.

The prizes these teams could choose from included a 6-month membership at team coworking space Desarrollo, a scholarship to Seed Spot’s evening program and $500 to spend on a conference or coworking space.

Other ideas that came out of the weekend battle include:

KidFriendly –  an app that identifies kid-friendly restaurants in the area for parents

Team Quirk'd
Team Quirk’d

Quirk’d – a dating app that puts people’s quirks first to get rid of the superficial front of online dating

Munky See – a solution that tracks the quality of content you consume and your long-term goals of online content consumption

Simple Demand – a website that identifies time or shift-specific deals

TalkShop – a Craigslist-like platform that connects teachers with speakers to make educational content relevant to students

PerfecFit – a website that finds clothes that fit you best based on your measurements and specific needs

GOIQ – a service that identifies what does and doesn’t work about the marketing efforts of small businesses

 

 








Adam Mann: Last minute sign up for Startup Weekend was Life Changing

Spotlight contributor: Aaron Bare

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Adam Mann is a design consultant with a simple focus: to provide clean and functional designs while supporting local business and developing lasting relationships.

What inspired you to go to Startup Weekend?adam
I attended Startup Weekend on a whim. I did not know what Startup Weekend was and only a couple days before the event a friend of mind had told me about it and asked if I would like to join. I had no idea what to expect, but my friend said it would be a good time, and a few hours later I had my ticket.

How was your experience?
My experience was life changing – not to be dramatic, but it truly was. That weekend opened my eyes to new areas of design I didn’t know existed. It has lead to some great friendships, and plenty of opportunities for new work as well.

What was the outcome of the weekend for you?
The outcome was a weekend I’ll never forget. I had no plans of pitching that weekend (I didn’t even know I could when I got my ticket), but during a last call for pitches I ran up on stage with an idea. The idea was selected and our team kicked ass and took 2nd place, winning a handful of great prizes, and more importantly we walked away with some amazing friendships and connections.

Where are you at today with Find My Train?find_my_train
Find My Train continues to grow with over 3000 users for the Phoenix Light Rail to date, and growing steadily. We have plans to introduce Find My Train as a smartwatch application for the Apple Watch early next year. You can view an early prototype here: www.simplyadammann.com/find-my-train

Do you speak to your fellow members from that weekend?
We had an amazing team for SW, and I still consistently talk to each member two years later. Just two months ago I visited one team member that moved to LA. I am also currently working on two different projects with the two other team members from SW.

Why should someone go to Startup Weekend?
Go for the experience. It’s unlike any other event I’ve been to. The people, the energy, the ideas. It’s great to immerse yourself in a project with such a time crunch with people you likely have never met. You will surprise yourself at what you can accomplish in such a quick time frame.

Join us for Startup Weekend GSB 2014 to meet a group of people like Caleb and find your company.  Only a few spots still available.








Spotlight on Caleb Barclay: Designer, Founder and SWPHX Alum

Spotlight contributor: Aaron Bare
———–

What inspired you to go to Startup Weekend?unnamed
I wanted to connect with developers that I didn’t have in my own network.  The goal being to work on future software startups together.

How was your experience?
We sat in a corner and cranked away though the day and night to go from an initial idea to a functioning prototype.  We pulled together other groups when we made a marketing video for the product but besides that, we really stayed focus on the goal. Our product was a gaming app meant to help novice beer and wine drinkers become experts. We called it Wannabe Wino.

What was the outcome of the weekend for you?
After the weekend, we went on to polish the app and eventually submitted it to the app store.  I walked away with a good understanding of how little time it takes to take an idea and bring it to life.

Where you at today with Wannabe Wino?
It’s live in the app store but we are not working on it.  We probably should since we spent so much time on it.  I’ve learned a lot about what worked with it and what didn’t work.  It has influenced me to think in new ways on future products.  App can be found here: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/wannabewino/id702734292?mt=8

Do you speak to you fellow members from that weekend?
Every once in a while I will talk to the developers that worked with me on the project but we are mostly doing our own projects right now.  Hopefully, we can work on something in the future.

Why should someone go to Startup Weekend?
Startup weekend is a great place to find talent, understand product development, meet like-minded people, and compete for a prize.  It’s a good place to learn to sell people on your idea and then further go on to learn team working through the process of high anxiety and little sleep.
Splicity-logo-420x215
What are you up to now?
I’m currently building a software called Splicity and we are releasing a public version in the next few months.  We’ve had traction with some brands that are going to be implementing our software in their upcoming social media campaigns.

Join us for Startup Weekend GSB 2014 to meet a group of people like Caleb and find your company.  Only a few spots still available.