When I asked Stacy Jasper (pictured above), a participant in the recent Health Triangle Startup Weekend (TSW Health), why someone should participate in a startup weekend, she replied, “To challenge yourself to try something new.” Lucky for all of us, Stacy provided more great advice, and we think it’s too good not to share. So check out our Q&A with Stacy below and don’t forget to sign up for Triangle Startup Weekend: Women, it’s coming up soon!
Stacy is the lead medical writing scientist at Stiefel, a GSK company. She learned about TSW Health through one of the organizers and was the team leader of her team, “Waggin’ Aid.” But she didn’t originally intend to participate in the weekend or be a team leader, in fact she only came to the pitches Friday night to watch and learn. In her own words, here’s her story:
Question: Why did you participate in TSW?
Answer: I work in the healthcare industry, so the health focus of the TSW was of interest to me. My husband has participated before and was planning to attend this event as well, so I decided to go watch the Friday night pitches to hear what topics people thought were important. While listening, I just happened to think of an idea that I thought could be viable and decided to leap off the cliff of my comfort zone and pitch the idea. Both the fact that I pitched and that it was selected to move forward were a shock, but I then signed up for the rest of the weekend…
Q: What was your favorite part of the weekend?
A: Learning so many different things and meeting so many different people.
Q: What was the most valuable part of the weekend for you?
A: Challenging myself to be a team leader.
Q: How did you feel before/during/after the event?
A: Before: Incredibly intimidated.
During: In a complete daze of exhaustion, stress, and confusion (turning around in circles trying to decide what needed to be done next and how to do it).
After: An unbelievable sense of accomplishment for actually participating myself and for having such a small team that really pulled together to create a product that we could demonstrate for the Sunday presentations.
Q: Did attending the weekend give you a better understanding of what startups can be?
A: I don’t think it gave me an understanding of what actually working at a startup is like, but the weekend did provide exposure to some of the skill development (pitches, customer engagement) and challenges (developing a viable business model, defining and prioritizing the product features, monetization) that all startups encounter.
Q: How do you work with a group of people you don’t know for 54-hours straight?
A: Patience, humor, encouragement, and finding the strengths of each person to form an inclusive team…exhaustion and stress make this difficult, but keep reminding yourself that your efforts to get along will help you enjoy the weekend and will result in a better final project.
Q: What advice do you have for future startup weekend participants?
A: You can do it!
Our organizing team also believes YOU can do it. Take Stacy’s lead (and advice) and sign up today!