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Startup Weekend Auckland held our first ever Meetup recently, with an impressive turnout of around 60 – 70 people, all keen to find out what goes on behind the scenes of SWAKL.

With approximately a 50/50 split of those who had and hadn’t ever attended Startup Weekend before, we had an interesting discussion on why Startup Weekend is important and why we all get involved.

This is my take on it….


“You didn’t build that.”

We stand on the shoulders of the scientists, explorers, inventors and innovators who came before us. These people went to great time and effort to discover and build what has become part of our daily lives. Electricity? I had nothing to do with its invention, but I benefit from it every day. 

Too often we have taken that for granted and haven’t appreciated the processes and innovation that bought it to reality. As the world changes and new problems and opportunities arise, it is time to ask ourselves – What is our place to build what’s next? 


So what is our current status?

At present there are many global challenges arising and developing. At present, our society is operating in a way that isn’t preparing for what is coming. Industries don’t always see what’s happening within themselves or what’s soon coming. Likewise, organisations have been quick to accept the highest paid person’s (HIPPO’s) opinion as gospel.


However there also communities trying their best to deal with these problems. People are looking for solutions at personal, community, social, government, economic and ecological levels. What we need is people who understand these issues and opportunities in context. People who can get shit done. People who are willing to put in the work to get those challenges met and not merely stand on the shoulders of those who came before them.

How does Startup Weekend contribute?

It transforms people. It instils a sense of resilience and rising to change. It shows us that we need to challenge and collaborate, integrating ideas into solutions we are looking for. It teaches us that settling for what other people have built and riding on the successes of our predecessors isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Startup Weekend hits a nerve. It ignites people who are sitting around wondering what to do and what their place is. “What I get inspired by on SW is people who are on their journey to become more resilient, to collaborate.” – Rowan, SW Facilitator.


As Alan explained – in a wonderful analogy he must’ve made up because I can’t find it online – some people go out on their feet, while others begin on their knees. (But seriously – all Google gave me was some information on arthritis.)
What this concept means is that there are two responses to a challenge. One is to submit and accept the problem as it is. The other is to use your feet – to dig in your heels and work hard, finding your way and learning how to handle yourself. If you can be the kind of person who uses their feet, the way you function in the world can begin to change.

And to wrap it up:
Why is Startup Weekend important?

“People getting together and talking about solving problems can be pretty revolutionary.”

– Alan Froggatt.

Laura Kerrison