← Techstars Blog

If you don’t know what a Startup Weekend is, please check out this blog post first.

This post was adapted from one written by one of our mentors and pitch expert, Ed Fidgeon-Kavanagh. You can find the original here.

In summation, Startup Weekend is an event to bring two types of people together: people who have ideas, and people who can execute those ideas. They work together to build a business over a 54-hour period, with enough research and hard work done to hit the ground running with the business when they’re ready.

47624i0k7oymni0

Attending a Startup Weekend is the best thing you can do to start your entrepreneurial journey. Below is a list of five reasons you should go:

The right type of people

When you attend a Startup Weekend you quickly realize that the sort of people that are willing to give up their weekend to try and do something entrepreneurial are exactly the sort of people you need to be around if you are hoping to start and run a business.

On top of getting some great business contacts and connections, you learn so much from mentors who have done this before.

Part of a community

Starting a business is tough, especially if you are doing it alone. When you attend a Startup Weekend you quickly realize that there is a community of people out there who are going through the exact same trials and tribulations as you. Sometimes (especially in Corner Brook, NL) we think that our geography is a limiting factor for entrepreneurship, but it isn’t and you can tap into a community of people that you may not have found otherwise.

Validation

A startup weekend offers your various levels of validation. First up it is the attendees as a whole who determine which ideas get worked on over the weekend, so right off the bat you are getting a good poll of smart people as to whether your idea is any good or not! If there are 20 ideas pitched, and 5 or so are selected to be worked on, right away you know whether your idea resonates with people.

If your idea does make it through then you will be pitching on Sunday to a panel of judges, typically the judges award 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placings, so if you were to finish in the top 3 you’d really know you were on to something!

If I was interested in starting a new business I would absolutely 100% attend a Startup Weekend for validation alone.

Great mentors

One of the best aspects of a Startup Weekend is that the organizers typically get an awesome lineup of mentors and advisors with various specialties such as finance, marketing, business development, presentation design, legal, etc. The attending mentors are always an extremely helpful and generally a well connected bunch, so you can get a lot of insight from them there, and often even have the ability keep in touch with them after the event.

A kick in the ass

You’ll leave Startup Weekend full of enthusiasm and creative energy. I think it’s probably because you manage to do so much and meet so many people in just two days that you realize you can really achieve a lot if you just put your mind to it. Furthermore, being surrounded by people who want nothing more than to help you succeed does a really good job of eliminating any excuses you may have, or any negativity that the outside world might have about entrepreneurship.

CAUTION: You may experience post-Startup Weekend blues. Please consult with with a business professional.

However there is a flip side to all this. Along with the kick in the ass that comes with Startup Weekend, there will always be the inevitable post-SW blues. Once the dust has settled, and Monday has rolled back around people return to their normal daily work routine and realize how damn boring it is!

So, how many more reasons do you need?

Join us at Startup Weekend in Corner Brook, April 1-3, 2016!

Matt Murley