← Techstars Blog

We love hearing about startup stories from attendees of Philadelphia Startup Weekend. Check out Cassie Aran’s PHLSW 2012 experience and how it inspired her to start her own business:

PHLSW: Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into the startup scene.

CA: I became interested in entrepreneurship Freshman year of college when my school encouraged me to attend Startup Weekend events. It opened my eyes to all the different components and people a business needs to work. I graduated college a few months ago and used this knowledge to start Cookie Munchers, a late night cookie delivery service for Rowan students and homes in Glassboro, NJ.
2phlswcs
I started a cookie delivery service because I thought it was something I could really have fun with. Since opening five weeks ago, we have sold over 900 boxes of cookies and made four behind the scenes video blogs for my YouTube channel “KICKINwithCASSIE” The videos show the real life struggles and triumphs I’ve faced while launching my first startup. You can also find us on Facebook and our website:

Facebook: facebook.com/rucookiemunchers

Website: RUCOOKIEMUNCHERS.COM

PHLSW: What inspired you to go to Philadelphia Startup Weekend? (How did you find out about it?)

CA: Rowan University has a great entrepreneurship program and they email you about all entrepreneurship events in the surrounding area. I was taking a class in entrepreneurship that encourages students to go out and attend events around startups. The class offered to pay for any students that wanted to attend for the first time. I took them up on the offer and since then have attended two more startup weekends. These weekends connected me with friends from various backgrounds who all wanted to start businesses.

PHLSW: Do you remember how you felt the first day of Philadelphia Startup Weekend?
3phlswcs
CA: As an 18 year old freshman, I was definitely nervous when I saw how many people were there and all were older than me. Originally I was way too scared to pitch an idea. However, last minute I decided that it would be a cool experience, so I tried it. It was nerve racking and my idea didn’t make it through, but I joined another team that ended up being perfect for me.

PHLSW: What was your role and responsibilities on your team at the PHLSW event?

CA: Although I am a business major, I have a background in design, so I did all the graphic design needed behind the idea. Being a freshman in college, my business knowledge wasn’t fully established yet.

PHLSW: What was the most important lesson that you learned from your Startup Weekend experience?

CA: I learned to just take a chance and try new things. Although my idea wasn’t chosen, I met some amazing people and learned about all the components needed to put a successful business together. I learned just taking a chance can really change your input on life and entrepreneurship.

PHLSW: Can you share your top 3 tips to attendees going to Philadelphia Startup Weekend this year?

  1. Try pitching an idea. Even if it doesn’t get through, it will take you out of your comfort zone and help you become more comfortable in front of a crowd.
  2. Get names and numbers of the people you work with and stay in touch. You are all from different backgrounds and will be able to help each other in the future, its guaranteed!
  3. Even if the idea doesn’t end up being executed, put all your effort into it so you can get the full experience of putting the business together. And don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand what everyone is doing. Everyone is there to help and learn!

Thanks for sharing with us Cassie! We hope you find Cassie’s story inspiring like we did.

If you still haven’t signed up for Philadelphia Startup Weekend yet, you can do so here and save 25% on your ticket if you use promo code ‘PHLSWLASTCALL’ at ticket selection.
Expires October 31st.  Get your ticket here: Philadelphia Startup Weekend Event

Katy Lee Katy Lee
(@thedailykat) Digital Marketer The Hershey Company, UX friendly, tech fan, traveler, foodie and startup supporter.