How to survive a Startup Weekend

You’ve arrived at your first ever Startup Weekend. The room is buzzing, the chatter is constant and you are pretty sure you just spied an untouched platter of pizza. Unlike the fast talking groups that have arrived together, you have decided to brave the unfamiliar and rock up completely alone. Now, you are faced with a sea of new faces…and choices.

Where do you start? How do you pick your team? Should you sit closest to the banquet or the bathroom?

Here are some important tips on how you can make the most of a Startup Weekend!

1. Diversify your team

One of the best parts about Startup Weekend (other than the food) is the opportunity to meet some awesome new people. Though you might be quick to team up with the first person who looks your way, it’s important to first consider the variety of skills needed to build on an idea. Get busy networking and suss out what potential team mates can offer. If in doubt, relegate yourself to the ‘Hipster, Hacker, and Hustler’ rule — creatives, tech experts, and confident spokespeople.

2. Don’t get stuck on one idea

Got an idea that’s set to blow everyone out of the water? Chances are everyone else does too. When it comes to Startup Weekend, it’s important to remember that your newly formed teammates may not necessarily agree with your concept, or choose it at all. Keeping your mind open to new ideas and playing to each individual’s strengths is the best way to surge ahead. So maybe leave your paranormal energy detector for the next one (or, you know, never).

3. Compromise

If being inflexible with your idea is a big no-no, then refusing to cooperate or compromise should also be straight up prohibited. Much like any group oriented activity, the only way to progress is to push aside ego and pride in favour of achieving an end goal. At some point, a decision will have to be made that is in the best interest of the group as a whole — even if you don’t all agree. What separates a winning team from a losing one is the ability to push aside differences and make decisions to move forward.

4. Come prepared

Most Startup Weekends supply stationery but if you have a favorite notebook and pen that brings out your creative juices, then bring these along. Your charged up computer, phone as well as any accompanying wall chargers/spare batteries should also be part of your survival kit. It’s best not to assume that chargers will be readily available — especially if your product of choice isn’t named after a particular fruit.

5. Keep yourself fuelled

Speaking of fruit…remember to eat!

Foregoing a meal may seem like a foreign concept, but it is an easy thing to do when you are hours into a brainstorming session. Avoid taking a mental nose dive by eating regularly, and storing a stash of sugary treats. That and avoiding a quick caffeine fix every time you hit an energy slump.

Expect things to be a bit chaotic at times during the 54 hours but never fear, as that probably means you are growing and in the right place. Trust the process, and know that even if your team doesn’t win, you’ve accomplished a great feat. At the end of the day (well, weekend) you’ve had an incredible experience building a startup with a group of passionate people!

QUT CEA’s Startup Weekend Creative Tech is on from 2–4 March. Grab your tickets here.

This article was originally published by QUT Creative Enterprise Australia.

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This video shows some of the highlights of Startup Weekend Phnom Penh in November 2014.

Registrations still open for Startup Weekend Siem Reap in less than 2 weeks! Get tickets at

Why should you join Startup Weekend Siem Reap?

We’re glad you asked!

In a nutshell, Startup Weekend is an opportunity for anyone anywhere to workshop ideas, from small business ventures to innovative apps, and turn them into reality. If you want a refresher on what a Startup Weekend entails, check out our previous post, What is a “Startup Weekend anyway?” and take a look at the Startup Weekend Siem Reap About page.

No matter your background; designer, developer, tech guru, or just interested in being a part of something different, Startup Weekend Siem Reap is the perfect place to test your talents and gain valuable entrepreneurial experience. Even if you don’t have a business idea of your own you’ll be able to collaborate with others, sharing your skills to make something great.

Throughout the weekend you’ll get a crash course on how to take an idea and turn it into action. Mentors established in the startup community will provide tips and critiques to help you and your team shape a viable business model, which you will then pitch to a panel of judges. Over the 54-hour workshop you’ll also become a more empowered leader and further develop your creative and innovative thinking abilities, priceless skills in the social entrepreneurship world.



Need some inspiration?

Check out these awesome ideas that launched from Startup Weekend Phnom Penh:

Joonaak – Delivery Services in Phnom Penh. Take a look at their really nice delivery motorbikes

Pmap – Stands for Promotion Map, a mobile application that allows you to easily find great promotions nearby

So what are you waiting for? Register now and take advantage of early bird prices!

Startup Weekend Siem Reap 2015 | Friday 29 May 6pm until Sunday 31 May evening

Venue: The 1961 Coworking and Art Space

$22 (early bird, full price is $30) – includes all food and drinks for the weekend, coaching from our professional mentors, startup tools and lots of fun!

Visit our Startup Weekend Siem Reap page to register and buy tickets!

What is a “Startup Weekend” anyway?

For the first time ever Startup Weekend is coming to Siem Reap! You’re going to hear us talk a lot about it over the coming weeks (we can’t help it, we’re excited) and thought you might be wondering: What is a “Startup Weekend” anyway?


According to the event’s handbook, the purpose of a Startup Weekend is to provide anyone all over the world the opportunity to experience entrepreneurship and develop the skills, connections, and confidence necessary to launch a company.

The hands-on experience will guide you from pitching your idea and forming a team to creating a working prototype while mentors and coaches help you turn your idea into reality, all in 54 hours.

Is Startup Weekend right for you?

Have you been mulling over an idea? Or perhaps you have a set of skills and want to be a part of something fresh? Then Startup Weekend Siem Reap is the perfect opportunity to flush out your thoughts, hone your talents, and finally get to work on that business venture.

Do you have what it takes to launch a startup in 54 hours? Join us and find out!

Learn more about what Startup Weekend Siem Reap entails and reserve your spot here: Startup Weekend Siem Reap