The following is a guest post by Startup Weekend Organizer Roberto Mascarenhas Braga. This post is also shared on his personal blog.
The magic happened again.
This weekend I took the road to Goiânia, a 2.5-hour drive from Brasilia, to attend Startup Weekend Goiânia. Startup Weekends are not that new – they’ve been running since 2007 and people in over 300 cities have made 600+ events happen since then.
I feel like a “senior guy” while talking about Startup Weekend. The major reason is that I got so much involved in Startup Weekend Brasília, the fourth of them that happened in Brasil. I’ve also attended other SW’s and I’m very grateful to see how the magic of turning people from zero to hero can happen in a so short period of time.
On Friday night, people pitch their ideas and try to convince people to join them. Then, now talking as teams, they use Saturday and Sunday to turn the Friday pitch into a viable business. Ok, it’s such a short time. But it’s time enough to live a few hours in the real startup world, dealing with problems like finding customers and prototyping. And reading things like this make us sure SW’s are really worthy.
For the non-portuguese speakers, the above link is a Facebook update from Sussy, an attendee from Goiania. She heard about the event from a friend and didn’t know much about how it would work. While she was hearing people make their Friday pitches – and at the same time discovering how SW works – she decided to pitch an idea of her own. She made a great pitch about a solution to help people make better decisions. Remember that time you spent hours trying to decide between dressing this way or that way? Or, maybe, do you remember that time you got stuck while trying to decide where to go to beach or mountains on your next vacation? Sussy just proposed a system where your friends can help you finding answers to these questions.
Sussy and her dudes worked hard for 54 hours and got to “Choose.” They got second place in the competition! Investors liked them and the team is considering to turn the weekend fun into full life jobs… This is the magic I’m talking about!
The winning project was “Carro com Desconto” (“Cars with Discount”). They sell cars with lower prices than in the car dealerships. The miracle? They focus on cars that are stuck on the dealerhip stock – generally because they’re particular in color and other features and people don’t want it. So “Carro com Desconto” turn them into incredible daily deals with a 15+% discount.
Startup Weekends are also great in making the “startup world” meet. This is so important in raising an ecosystem like the one we have in Brasil. People are there as attendees, mentors and organizers and it’s great to see these friends you’ve made work, talk about startup life and drink a few beers. And maybe the new attendees will soon become mentors too.