This May we’ll be celebrating the first ever Editions Month – an initiative created in response to the growing organic demand from the community to bring the magic of Startup Weekend to new industries and audiences. Startup Weekend Edition events run just like any other Startup Weekend – but are focused on a certain theme, industry or audience. These type of events increase the diversity of the community by pulling in new attendees, Organizers, stakeholders, and sponsors with new areas of expertise.
During the entire month, Organizers all around the world will be holding over 100 events, highlighting over 50 different editions! We’ll be highlighting trends, stories and experiences from these events over the next few weeks.
First up – unique editions & their locations! Check out these awesome events happening around the world and some background info about the cities hosting them.
Blue Growth, Shipping & Logistics Edition – Piraeus, Greece
Seas and oceans are drivers for the European economy and have high potential for growth and innovation opportunities. This is where the term Blue Growth comes in, meaning: the strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors.
Piraeus is one of Greece’s busiest shipping ports and one of the largest ports in Europe. It is also one of the busiest passenger ports in the world, seeing about 19 million passengers annually. That’s a lot of boats and people. So, what’s a better way to capitalize on all of this activity than new ideas at Startup Weekend?
Energy Edition – Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
The world’s first Startup Weekend Energy is launching this May, in the fields of Oklahoma! Did you know that Tulsa was known as the Oil Capital of the World until the 1960s, when Houston, Texas and then eventually the Middle East took the title?
With Tulsa’s diverse history in the energy sector, it’s an ideal location for working on new tools, applications, and services for this industry. We can’t wait to see what ideas strike it big at this event!
Delicious cheeses, pastries, wine – where’s a better place for food than France? Lyon has been called the “food capital of France” and is known for its world famous Lyonnaise cuisine. Bordeaux is the world’s major wine industry capital. Their history is drenched in wine, as the Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the 8th century.
France in general is known for its history of gastronomy, which means the practice of cooking and eating good food and the cooking of a particular area. With all of these great resources and communities around them, these two Startup Weekends are bound to cook up some tasty new ideas! Hey France, looking for a taste tester, I mean, Facilitator? 🙂
Sun, surfing, and beautiful beaches – Australia is the ideal vacation destination. With these two events being in locations also known as “The Sunshine State” and “Gateway to the Barrier Reef,” where is more of a perfect place to innovate the Tourism industry?
Some other fun facts: Gold Coast is home to some of the best surfing spots in the world. While Cairns has the closest access to the Great Barrier Reef, which is the largest reef in the world and is home to over 1,500 species of fish. These cities sound like a great place for a good balance of work AND fun at Startup Weekend!
Startup Weekend Tampa Youth allows students to learn and practice the foundational skills of entrepreneurship while collaborating to reach a common goal, taking a business from idea to reality. It sheds a spotlight on the creativity we have right here in our community from an often overlooked source: KIDS. The youth here in Tampa Bay are filled with great ideas and if we can take a page from their book and learn a bit from them along the way, we will have done our job by creating and encouraging the kids’ appetites for entrepreneurship.
The Startup Weekend Tampa Youth program is one of the first in the area to embrace this idea of collaboration and engages students in meaningful conversation around the topic of entrepreneurship. It reinforces collaboration, communication and problem solving during the weekend long event. We held our first event in September of 2014, and after the amazing experiences that our team and attendees shared; we knew it had to happen again in the community. One of the coolest experiences from our first event was how well students who barely knew each other formed teams around ideas they felt passionate about to create really unique pitches by the end of the weekend. Yes this happens at every Startup Weekend on Friday night – but seeing kids doing it felt extra special. They got over any fears they had and focused on the ideas and new teammates around them.
As an elementary school teacher who was introduced to Startup Weekend back in 2010, I have watched participants conjure up the courage to stand up in front of a room full of peers to pitch an idea they believed in. When we heard there was an editions event that focused on bringing this concept to kids, I KNEW I had to be involved on a bigger scale. By teaming with my fellow co-organizers, made up of a mix of educators and entrepreneurs, we found the perfect balance to engaging our younger audience while teaching about the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. Watching the kids take on roles that we normally see adults struggle with throughout the ups and downs of a Startup Weekend event and make great things happen along the way had to be the coolest part of all.
Some students in our area have access to entrepreneurship and resources, but we have made it our goal to find a way to incorporate a variety of learners and tap into their creative juices. By bringing entrepreneurship to the forefront of their academic experience, we are able to plant the seed in those who are yearning to evolve and foster their creative passions, regardless of demographic, background, or interest. Starting with students who are younger and sharing our knowledge from our experiences will allow them to be less limited in their thought barriers and provide them the big vision ideas they need to grow and mature into young adults. Exposing them to these ideas when they are young will exponentially impact our community as they begin to create and build these novel ideas.
This is the main reason we chose to tap into this unique demographic here in Tampa Bay. With Tampa emerging as a forefront for tech and entrepreneurship, we want our youth to be part of this evolution by helping guide them in becoming leaders of their generations. It was exhilarating to see budding “youthpreneurs” as we coined them, come to the table with legitimate problems that they had a solution for.
One of our former participants designed an app to help them keep track of how long the bus would take to arrive at their location. This is a problem for kids in our area because Florida gets ridiculously hot during the summers and the weather can be unpredictable during the winters. This app would allow kids to know exactly when to head to their bus stop, thus eliminating the awful and uncomfortable wait time they currently have to endure.
The group seen above was working on creating a robotic arm that would help lift heavier objects, thus eliminating the need for assistance with carrying things like groceries and other heavy loads. Working with the Youth Edition can be so rewarding when you see it in action. It’s moments like this that motivate us to organize these events.
When we began the process of organizing these events, our goal was never to make all attendees become entrepreneurs by the end of the weekend. We hoped to see kids become comfortable with other kids who had similar interests and collaborate as they worked through their different problems. We knew we had done something right when students AND parents left wanting more. Right after the final pitches, a Dad from the audience came up and congratulated our team on a job well done. Additionally, he offered to serve as a local sponsor for our next event, which we had not even discussed yet. Seeing support from the parents in the community gave us extra motivation to keep holding this type of event. It gave extra validation that it is a valuable program to families and the community.
Tristan Crawford, a thirteen year old and one of our winners at our first Startup Weekend Youth event said it best: “If you have a business idea and need help with understanding how to start a business, then I know the Startup Weekend Youth course will teach you how to bring your product or business idea to market, and provide you with the support you need after the course. I encourage you to go to the Startup Weekend Youth event when it comes to your town. It is a great learning experience. You will not be disappointed!”
They say “it takes a village to raise a child,” and we are proud to be a part of this village by teaching kids what is truly possible in this world.
– Nicholas Catania
Startup Weekend Tampa Youth Organizer
Portland has become something of a B2B tech hub. Elemental, Urban Airship, Puppet, Jama, Smarsh, Janrain, and so many other great Portland companies share a common trait… they serve other companies. We believe this uniquely positions Portland as a community well suited to helping aspiring entrepreneurs found the next wave of great B2B companies.
For this spring’s Portland Startup Weekend (May 1-3, 2015), we were challenged to do something unique, while maintaining the culture, experience and purpose of the event. We chose to focus exclusively on B2B entrepreneurship for three key reasons.
Culture: Too many young “companies” are doing what Paul Graham refers to as “playing house.” They are mimicking everything they see successful companies doing on the outside, like getting an office, making slick business cards, handing out T-shirts and stickers, building slide decks and websites… but they aren’t doing the one thing that is often hidden from view, calling on clients with real problems and real budgets, asking how they can serve them. That is hard work, its not always fun or glamorous… but it is what separates inventors from entrepreneurs.
Revenue: Funding that never has to be paid back. There are very few individuals who will pay hundreds of dollars a month for any service, so building consumer focused businesses often means borrowing massive sums of money. However there are millions of businesses that will pay real money, to solve real problems, right now.
Diversity: While many people reading this have the relationships and experience to raise money, many early entrepreneurs do not. We believe this lack of access is a contributor to a disparity in the ethnic, age, race and gender makeup of our industry, as compared to the communities we serve. While others strive to improve that system of early stage fundraising, we want to show aspiring entrepreneurs how to build a business that can sustain itself without any outside funding or permission from the establishment.
We believe Entrepreneurship should be more focused on building a real business rather than the pursuit of funding. We believe that encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs to target B2B opportunities gives them many important advantages that provide an alternative to traditional fundraising, and we’re doing something about it… we hope you’ll join us!