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The heart of the Startup Weekends are the people that are part of it – whether as participants or volunteers. We would like to introduce you to a few of them and ask about their motivation and experiences to give you a little insight. Nora Grazzini made an emotional summation of her experience last year. 

Nora GrazziniIn which Startup Weekend did you participate?
Startup Weekend Cologne in January 2015

What was your motivation to participate?
As a Designer, I was interested in developing new digital products in an open space. But to be honest, I had no idea, what to expect of Startup Weekend – in fact, I had no clue about the whole startup-scene.

Which idea did you and your team work on?
I had the idea of a restaurant-finding platform matching the user’s personal diet for already quiete a while. Spontaneously, I pitched it just for fun and people liked it. So we worked on it and made the 3rd price.

What became of your idea and your team mates?
The team did not continue working on the project, so I kept on developing the idea on my own for two months. But i couldn´t solve one specific big problem around the data. So i had to let the idea go. But I’ve already learned so much in the meantime that I don´t account for it as a failure.

In retrospective, how did you profit from participating at Startup Weekend?
The most fundamental benefit: The participation launched me into the whole startup-cosmos like a rocket in just one weekend. With one blast I was living the dream I hadn´t even dare to dream before. I met inspiring people who ticked like me – wanting to change the world and doing things to make it happen. It gave me the feeling of empowerment for the energy I always had inside. And these awesome people welcomed me so warmly. I never felt so right in the spot in my whole carrer. Even with my lack of sleep, I didn´t want to go home on sunday night. So I just came back on Monday morning and never left.

Do you have good advice for all future participants?
Don´t expect to develop real businesses. Use it as a playground to experience, what it is all about, have fun and start your journey as an entrepreneur.

Carolin Gattermann