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Over the years we’ve seen hundreds of startups launched at Startup Weekend, covering an overwhelming number of different industries and verticals.

I’ve personally seen social enterprises helping the less fortunate both at home and abroad, the birth of innovative new platforms for crowdfunding local live-music and even new brands of food and drink, all of whom managed the seemingly impossible – launching a successful company in just three days.

But this is what Startup Weekend is all about.

It’s about empowering individuals like you, dear reader, to take the leap, to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams, to bring your ideas to life. To start something that has the potential to not only survive beyond our sterile testing area at Startup Weekend Derby, but to thrive out in the real world and become a great business.

And this is actually very possible! Over the years, many of the companies launched at Startup Weekend events worldwide have continued their work after the weekends festivities, hiring new employees, raising investment rounds and increasing revenues tenfold in the following weeks and months after launch.

In fact, somewhere around 11% of Startup Weekend startups go on to achieve ‘success’ (a very broad definition, but nonetheless…), and just for you I’ve curated a few of the best examples from both overseas events, and some who started a little closer to home.

Zapier

If you’ve ever worked with a multitude of different web apps, you’ll probably have come across Zapier before. Zapier allows you to connect different web applications together to create cross-functionality that previously would only have been possible with highly technical knowledge.

The cool thing is, Zapier was actually started as a project at Startup Weekend Columbia way back in 2011 and the founding team are still together, albeit bolstered by a team of 54 remote workers living all across the globe.

Not bad for a weekend project, right?

LootCrate

OK, confession on my part – I’m a bit of a nerd and video games have been my jam since I was a wee lad (I even built 3D environments for games for a while), so LootCrate are an essential on our list of successful Startup Weekend alumni.

Founded at Startup Weekend Los Angeles in 2012, LootCrate offer a monthly subscription box service which delivers awesome gamer, geek and tech swag straight to your door. The key component which sets them apart? Unlike other subscription-box services who focus on providing samples in each box, LootCrate sends full products like figurines, t-shirts, food and more, providing amazing value to their customers.

Since launching, the team have been crazy successful, increasing their subscriber base tenfold in the few months after Startup Weekend LA and now servicing millions of fan worldwide. Kick-ass.

Airstoc

OK, time to feature some homegrown talent on our list. Founded in 2014 after a successful run at Startup Weekend Sheffield, Airstoc are building the first dedicated marketplace for professional aerial-drone footage.

As a fast-growing and controversial new area of technology, the team behind Airstoc are making good use of their first-mover advantage by going on to raise multiple funding rounds and begin hiring to expand their team.

Just goes to show, you don’t have to be a well connected tech bod from California to achieve great things after Startup Weekend!

Spare Change

Another more recent alumnus of Startup Weekend Sheffield, Spare Change are a social enterprise on a mission to help solve the problems faced by homeless people in the UK. Founded in June 2016, Spare Change received mentorship by DotForge Accelerator after winning Startup Weekend to help them develop their business.

They’ve now become deeply involved with many communities and charitable organisations in their region to continue learning, start growing the company and carry on building out a solution that truly helps homeless individuals.

Launchrock

Finishing off our micro-list of awesome Startup Weekend alumni are Launchrock. These guys began their journey at Startup Weekend Philadelphia in 2011 taking 2nd place at the event with a platform to build landing pages and hype around pre-launch companies – very meta at a Startup Weekend!

Since that weekend, Launchrock have helped thousands of people launch their businesses, raising a solid round of seed funding and eventually being acquired only three years later.

With Startup Weekend Derby looming ever closer, now’s the time to start thinking about your ideas, practicing your 60-second pitch and thinking about who you’ll need on your team to have a successful weekend.

Even if you idea isn’t picked, find something you like the sound of and don’t stop once the weekend is over! Keep going, keep working and become one of our 11% who go on to achieve great things!

Not bought your ticket yet? Hurry over to our ticketing page and pick one up, Early Bird discounts are still running until early January!

Giorgio Cassella