By: Christoph Hartling, Lendy, the Winner of Startup Weekend Fall 2016
It is almost exactly three months ago, when I made myself on the way to the city center of Oulu to participate in the Startup Weekend. Up to that point, I didn´t really know what was expecting me at the Startup Weekend Oulu, the only thing that was running through my mind was, that we somehow had to create a company within 54 hours!
When I arrived at the Business Kitchen venue, I was warmly welcomed and suddenly surrounded by dozens of young and likeminded people. Shortly after, the pitching started and I was impressed about the wide variety of different ideas, but also curious about how these ideas will develop during the Startup Weekend. After that, everything went really quick, we formed a team of four enthusiastic students and lost no time working on our business idea.
Even though, most of our team members had never participated in such a startup event before, we never felt lost or uncertain about our next steps. I can fairly say, that this was mainly through the great support of the Startup Weekend mentors.
- We got our own office space.
- We launched our first website.
- We found our first customers and early adopters.
- We worked together and got supported by Finland’s biggest bank ─ OP Financial Group.
- We went to Europe´s Leading Startup Event – Slush.
I guess answering the question, if it was worth participating at Startup Weekend Oulu is unnecessary, even if you have only read the last few sentences!
By Marjaana Annala, Go Swap It, the Winner of Startup Weekend Oulu Spring 2016
Whenever someone asks me what Startup Weekend was like, I always have difficulties answering to it in a short way. To me, and I believe to many others as well, it meant a weekend where you totally step out of your comfort zone and do things you never thought were possible before. So how do you explain everything that happened, or everything that lead there, in a couple of sentences?
My best variable so far is this.
After a lot of pondering, I went there with an innocent idea that was a result of a 3-minute conversation with a friend a few months earlier (“Hey you know what would be cool?” “Oh yes that WOULD be cool!”) but no actual clue of what I should do with it. Truth be told, I still had no idea what I was going to do when I got there. To pitch or to not pitch my idea? I was extremely scared of even the mere idea of that.
I also did not have any idea of what I should do during the weekend – or how to do any of the things I should do. Complicated, huh? But shortly after I arrived I realized that it is perfectly fine, because on top of unlimited coffee and food, what was offered was unlimited support.
So I guess what happened was that a bunch of genius minds got together, were inspired by the same idea, joined forces and started working. No talk, all action, they said. And it truly was just that. All you really need to do is stop thinking, roll up your sleeves and start working.
Five months later?
I have my own company with the same awesome people I met at Startup Weekend.
I have pretty much my dream job.
I also have at least some kind of an idea what I’m doing.
As icing on the cake – and most importantly – a whole lot of new, amazing people in my life.
That is the beauty of Startup Weekend.
We’re excited to announce the first in a series of pre-Startup Weekend workshops designed to help you gain an edge on developing a company in just 54-hours! Our first workshop is Mobile Apps — From Idea to Execution to Explosion on Wednesday, April 22 from 8:45-11:30 a.m. This isn’t instruction on how to code an app but rather expert guidance on fleshing out your app idea and then succeeding in the marketing of it. The app economy is a complex beast, and it takes careful planning from idea to execution to make your app explode into the market. Our presenters, leading app experts Aaron Watkins (President, Appency) and Rich Foreman (CEO, Apptology), will show you tips, tactics and tricks that will help you succeed in the world of mobile.
And now for the sweet part! If you’ve already registered to attend Startup Weekend May 15-17 you can attend this workshop for free!* Not sure you’re ready to commit yet? We’ve got a deal for you too — just use promo code “swsac” and you can attend for the admission price of just $9 (regularly $40). Admission includes validation for 4 hours of parking and a continental breakfast. This is a fantastic opportunity whether or not you already have an idea for an app. We hope you can join us!
Visit the Workshop Page for all the event details and to register!
*Look for the discount code for free admission to this workshop on your registration confirmation or email us for the information.