Meet the Chicago Startup Weekend Team: Shreya Singh and Brandon Saunders

Name: Shreya Singh

Age: 29

Hometown: Chennai, India

Creative Industry of Focus (Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Film/TV, Music Business, etc.): Performing and Visual Arts.

Tell me a bit about yourself.

I have a background in Psychology, Leadership, Classical dance and Arts Management in India. I have been working as an Arts and Cultural Development Consultant in South India for the past six years and every year so far has been eventful and very fulfilling. This Arts Management degree at Columbia has no doubt equipped me with critical tools to take my skills and understanding of arts management to the next level. I look forward to moving back to India in 2017 to put my skills to good use where arts managers are the need of the hour.

This is such a cliché question, but where do you see yourself in five years?

Considering my experience, travel and research so far in Asia and the United States, I am fairly confident of being in a leadership position at a reputable arts organization in India or maybe even being an entrepreneur in the arts.

What is your role in CCC Startup Weekend Chicago- Creative Enterprises Edition?

Director of Operations.

Have you attended a Startup Weekend before?

YES!

If so, what did you enjoy about your Startup Weekend experience?

The energy was palpable; the high-pressure environment makes my mind work at a different rate. The mentors and coaches help shape your ideas and think outside the box. To me the experience was priceless, especially being a part of the MAM program and since I also took the entrepreneurship class this past semester.

What can individuals expect at Startup Weekend Chicago?

An electric environment. An enthralling experience and forming meaningful relationships.

Why should people attend Startup Weekend Chicago – Creative Enterprise Edition?

A comprehensive idea of what it takes to start a business from ideation to projecting revenue and breaking even. Anyone with an idea of a product or solution in the arts, or any creative realm for that matter, would benefit from this 54-hour intensive experience. Without a doubt, the learning from this weekend is unparalleled and unique, no matter how many times one participates.

What advice do you have for someone that wants to make their creative business idea/dream a reality?

Everyone needs a platform to spring from. Every company needs a dream team. Every idea needs depth and market analysis to back it up. Startup Weekend is where one can do or find answers to these questions.

 

Name: Brandon Saunders

Age: 25

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Creative Industry of Focus: Music Business

Tell me a bit about yourself.

I consider myself a creative arts professional as well as a creative artist. This basically means I love to create and I love to help others create as well.  I am an alumnus from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and soon-to-be Columbia College Chicago alumnus as well. Musical enterprise and social entrepreneurship are at the forefront of my efforts as I aim to create pathways for young creative minds to develop and flourish.

This is such a cliché question, but, where do you see yourself in your career in 5 years?

I see myself having complete ownership of my time as successful entrepreneur. This includes starting to see some success with my current entrepreneurial projects.

What is your role in CCC Startup Weekend Chicago- Creative Enterprises Edition?

I am the Marketing Director of this great team. Basically, it is my job to make sure we bring in a ton of people that want to participate in the weekend as well as find groups that want to help us make this happen.

Have you attended a Startup Weekend before?

Yes, I recently attended the Startup Weekend in San Francisco.

If so, what did you enjoy about your Startup Weekend experience?

What I really enjoy about Startup Weekend is its ability to take great idea and really move them forward in great stride with such a relatively small amount of time and resources! The concept of the weekend alone is very inspiring!

What can individuals expect at Startup Weekend Chicago?

Really cool people, really great ideas and really good food!

Why should people attend Startup Weekend Chicago – Creative Enterprise Edition?

Why not?!? Where else will you get a chance to make something great happen and meet other brilliant minds?

What advice do you have for someone that wants to make their creative business idea/dream a reality?

Write it down, plan it out and work on it every single day!








Meet The Chicago Startup Weekend Team: Brittani Alston

Name: Brittani Alston

Age: 23

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

Chicago Startup Weekend Role: Project Manager/Technical Lead

Creative Industry Focus: Performing Arts, Live Entertainment

Tell me a bit about yourself: My lifetime goal has always been to become a super entrepreneur; an innovative leader who impacts the community positively. Upon graduation from Columbia College Chicago, I hope to officially launch my leadership training program for collegiate women in Milwaukee, WI.

Have you attended a Startup Weekend before? I have attended a Startup Weekend; Startup Weekend Bloomington 2016

If so, what did you enjoy about your Startup Weekend experience? I enjoyed the late work hours filled with adrenaline and exhaustion! There’s nothing like developing a complex idea under pressure in a short period of time!

What can individuals expect at Startup Weekend Chicago? Participants at Startup Weekend Chicago can expect a unique experience from the diversity of ideas and perspectives that will be brought to the room. Chicago is a gold mine for entrepreneurship!

Why should people attend Startup Weekend Chicago – Creative Enterprise Edition? People should attend the weekend to learn about their strengths, network with others, and push their entrepreneurial limits.

What advice do you have for someone that wants to make their creative business idea/dream a reality? Strive to take action opposed to simply being “in motion”. There’s a difference between planning and execution. Startup Weekend can be an easy first step!

Purchase tickets here: http://www.up.co/communities/…/chicago/startup-weekend/10099








Meet The Chicago Startup Weekend Team: Melissa Jimenez

“Be flexible and open minded. Don’t be so tied to your idea that you stifle its potential for growth.” – Melissa Jimenez

 

Name: Melissa Jimenez
Age: 29
Hometown: Diego Martin, Trinidad & Tobago
Creative Industry of Focus: Live entertainment and Events

Role for Chicago Startup Weekend: Lead Organizer

Tell us a bit about yourself.
A classically trained singer who loves singing complex classical works (I’m talking about things like the 60 minute vocal performance of Carmina Burana – which I have memorized by the way) and Musicals (my favourite is Aida). I majored in Musical Arts and Sociology. Live entertainment, events and entrepreneurial business development is my passion. An ambivert on most days but if you really want to see me turn it on, watch me in event coordination mode. I love to dance but sadly structured dance doesn’t like me – I tell people I have 6 left feet. When I’m not in work mode, being a Caribbean girl to my core, you can find me relaxing on a beach or cruising on a boat with a peach or mango cocktail in hand basking in the sunshine. The beach is my place of calm, rest and solace. It helps me to center and re-focus.

This is such a cliché question, but, where do you see yourself in your career in 5 years?
Managing and coordinating events for prominent independent clients, luxury hotels and cruise liners. If you top on another 5 years, I’d like to focus on cultural policy and be the next Minister of Arts and Culture in my homeland or be in a similar position, high enough to effect change and give direction to the local Arts and Entertainment industry with the aim of making it more self sufficient.

Have you attended a Startup Weekend before?
My first encounter with Startup Weekend was as a curious attendee in November 2014. I fell in love with the cause, its mission and and the community so much that I immediately reached out to the Organizer thereafter and told them that I wanted to be a part of the team for the next one. My professional expertise then was in Grant Writing so that’s where the team utilized me and we produced a spectacular Startup Weekend event themed for Social Enterprises in June 2015. I worked remotely giving assistance to two other Startup Weekend teams thereafter and recently attended the Bloomington Indiana Startup Weekend.

If so, what did you enjoy about your Startup Weekend experience?
As an attendee, several features stood out to me most with the Startup Weekend experience. Besides the food, of course, the adrenaline rush, the insane networking and the ability to complete a project that would usually take average 6 months and more for the mediocre procrastinator took us only 54 hours. And, the end product of the weekend was AMAZING! People had websites built – functional and live – others had 3D renditions of prototypes and of course there were apps built as well – no Startup Weekend is ever complete without an app idea as the origins of the event was based on innovation within the tech space.

What can individuals expect at Startup Weekend Chicago?
Great food, great networking opportunities, a mix of people who may be just right to help you get your idea from thought to reality, and an intense work filled but fun weekend.

Why should people attend Startup Weekend Chicago – Creative Enterprise Edition?
We share a vision and desire to help grow the creative industry. There’s more to the creative industry than just dance or music or visual art. We want YOU to be a forerunner, come with your ideas for ways to expand the innovation in our creative space. Whether it be a karoke app, a tool to help designers stitch clothes in half the time, software to boost DJ productivity and output or a service which makes booking venues easier for event managers.

What advice do you have for someone that wants to make their creative business idea/dream a reality?
Don’t be afraid to pitch! Yes pitching can be scary but its worth it!
Startup Weekend provides a safe space to explore your idea, and work with people who have the skill set you don’t readily possess who will help you flesh out the idea, solidify it and turn it into a reality. Be flexible and open minded. Don’t be so tied to your idea that you stifle its potential for growth.

Find out more about us! Follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Purchase tickets here.