So what really the StartUp Weekend is about?
It is a 54 hour event from Friday afternoon till Sunday evening where you build a company up from scratch. You don’t need any specific background or ideas because you’ll find your buddies, form a team and work with them while leaning and having fun.
Talking from my personal experience this event pretty much gave me a job and some of my best friends. At the time, I just got out of academia… went to the Startup weekend and fall in love with the community and the openness of people.
I had a lot of fun and some crazy brainstorming. Memories I’m still holding on. And NOW:
Here are the 5 main reasons to join this event:
1) Meeting with like-minded people
From the moment you enter the building there will be other amazing people surrounding you sharing the same interests and mindset as you do.
It’s time to make friends and work on those networking skills everyone keeps talking about!
First time I participated on the Startup Weekend I ended up getting to know people I’m still really close to and… Well, I ended up with a new job at a startup 🙂
2) Learning new things
In 54 hours you’ll get a chance to gain knowledge on the structure of a company and as well you’ll see the journey that an idea goes through from popping up in someone’s mind till the first sale gets done.
Get ready to be amazed!
For me one of the biggest take-aways was the importance of teamwork. I learnt a lot more on how to communicate with people and reach the best possible outcomes 🙂
3) Validate your idea
This is the time and place to get people reflect on what you have in mind. All ideas will be pitched at the beginning of the weekend and voted for. The ones with the top votes will then be pitched again on Sunday for the final validation by our outstanding judges.
Get the feedback needed to make your product!
Although I went to the Startup Weekend without an idea, I joined a group that was working on something I really believed in. It was amazing to get a detailed and valuable feedback that made us bring our idea further than we’ve previously imagined.
4) Get to know coaches and mentors from all around
Have you ever wanted to chat with or get advice from the top UX guys? Or maybe to hear the vision of a CEO or a Product Manager? You can do all of that here. All these talents wonder around over the weekend to give you a chance to brainstorm with them.
Put your thinking hat on!
I’ve actually met with a CEO over the Startup weekend who taught me the fundamentals of project management that I could use later on once I became part of a product team.
5) Become part of something bigger
Once the weekend is over you’ll see that this was about something bigger. You are now part of a community across 150 countries, with over 193k alumni community members and with over 2.9k events to date. Crazy numbers, aye? 🙂
Bring it on Friend!
Here I am 3 years after my first Startup Weekend, organizing another one in another country…. This community gave me incredible knowledge and love. Having like-minded people around you is something that a lot of people just wish for….
The startup community gives you all that 🙂
And now there is only one thing left…..
Get your ticket and join us on the 26th of May for this life changing experience 🙂
Interview with former SW participants
Part one: Codie
Mirjam: Let’s start at the beginning, which is the birth of the idea and the team.
Whose idea was Codie and how was the project born?
Ádám: The basic idea behind Codie is that we are teaching kids coding with a smart
application and a robotic device. I had the idea, when I was teaching freshmen coding at the university few years ago. When I received the curriculum from my professor, I just realized that this is not the way you should teach coding- it’s not engaging, it is really old method. So I started working on a new method, and which is Codie.
M: Did you know each other before the Startup Weekend?
Á: At the beginning I thought of Codie as a fun project, so I asked one of my
friends if he wants to join- that time we didn’t know about SW . He joined, so we brought the idea to the event, and some other guys joined as well.
M: Did you hear about Startup Weekend within the framework of a university
Á: Yes, actually we were told about the event by our Entrepreneurship teacher on
our class and she/he encouraged us to join SW.
M: What was the biggest help throughout the weekend?
Á: The biggest help was the time limit itself, because it was really pushing us
towards making the project happen. The other significant help was that we had to pitch -so it wasn’t just another competition where you have to fill in a form or just write what your idea is. The presence of the mentors was really helpful as well, they were giving us many many useful feedbacks .
M: How did the idea change so far? Did you have any heavy conflicts inside the
team when you had to make a decision?
Á: We were talking with our customers, and we did few improvements based on
this. Actually everybody agreed on these small turnovers or small modifications, so it did not cause any conflict.
M: In March you declared that you’re about to close your first round and you’re
launching your product on Kickstarter in Fall.
Á: Yes, we closed the first round of funding in April, when we finally signed the
term sheet. We are raising again by the way, because it was a very small
round. And we are officially launching on Kickstarter in the beginning of November. Pretty soon!
M: What do you expect from the launch? Do you have exact numbers?
Á: We expect World Domination of course 🙂 . And let’s see what we can get out
of this campaign. The numbers are not public yet, but you’ll see on Kickstarter how much we are forward to raise.
M: You already started testing your product at schools. How did you chose the
Á: Actually the schools chose us- they reached out for us, because they heard
about us, they wanted to see this, wanted to test it so that’s how we got in touch with some of the schools. While the other ones were approached by us, because we really needed some big names- and they “okay, let’s see it”.
K: Your target audience is between the age 10 and 14 . Is the testing going on in
elementary or high schools?
Á: High schools. 6th-7th graders are around 11 or 12, so that’s why high
schools are perfect for the tests. We need feedback from other age groups as well so we are focusing on the entire age group. Like we did one testing last October with kids at the age of 5 . It was the most extreme test that we did and it was a good validation that even they could use it – of course we had to explain how to use it, but they could use it.
M: Do the kids make frequent tests, or they just use Codie occasionally?
Á: Basically there are few kids who use it on a regular basis, like every
week. So we test whether somebody know how to use the product and now how was the programme few weeks ago. During our testing session we invite other newcomer kids who will use it only for few minutes, just to test it. The testing session takes about 20-25 minutes and we chose some practises each week that we want to be tested .
M: I’m sure that you are planning to enter foreign markets as well…What is your
Á: Similarly to many startups we are aiming for the US market. We spent
4 weeks there this June, just to explore it, get to know the school districts, the
parents and kids there, and we kind of elevated the product , the price point and the idea itself. The main target is the US, the second target markets are UK, Finland and Estonia .
M: You had your rebranding party 2 weeks ago What was the aim of the rebranding?
Á: The name “Robophone” stuck with us since the Startup Weekend and
actually it was a good name back then, because that time our product was just a phone extension- you had to put your phone inside the robot. We have problems with that name, because we want to release the tablet version as a new feature and the word “robo” means stolen in several languages – so stolen phone is obviously not the best brand name. This new brand has solved these issues, plus it really shows what we are doing and it also sounds playfully. With the new name we also introduced a new logo and came up with a totally new outlook.
M: What is success for you in terms of Codie?
Á: In this project success is making the kids happy. We consider as a real
success when they are smiling while testing our product.
M: What is your advice for the future participants?
Á: We spent the Friday evening at a bar and it was very important to put the team together- it was like a very quick team building. We got to know each other, each others’ strength, how can we avail each others’ talent . On Saturday we was the first team who started working in the office and from then we worked a lot until Sunday afternoon. We also spent much time on making and practising our pitch as well.
Az elmúlt két hétvége alatt száz országában, több mint 200 helyszínen zajlottak a világ legnagyobb vállalkozói versenyének, a GlobalStartup Battle-nek a helyi fordulói. Budapest immár második alkalommal csatlakozott az eseménysorozathoz, mely idén több mint 20.000 vállolkozó kedvű résztvevőt vonzott Szingapúrtól kezdve Bagdadon keresztül egészen San Franciscoig. A ma induló globális döntőben két friss magyar startup, az ARYS és az Opp.io is bekerült a legjobbak közé, ahol az 500 ezer dolláros fődíjért, valamint az ehhez szükséges támogató szavazatokért versenyeznek.
A Global Startup Battle előszobájának számító Startup Weekendet ötödik alkalommal szervezte meg Budapesten a Colabs StartupCenter, amelyen idén rekord számú programozó, dizájner és marketinges vett részt. A rendhagyó verseny célja, hogy a frissen alakult csapatok egy-egy innovatív ötletből kiindulva egy hétvége leforgása alatt működő prototípust fejlesszenek és a leendő felhasználóikkal felvéve a kapcsolatot, valós piaci visszajelzésekkel támasszák alá üzleti modelljüket.
“A Startup Weekendnek köszönhetően eddig hat olyan vállalkozás indult útjára, amelyek hazai vagy külföldi befektető társaságoktól kaptak tőkét a fejlődéshez” nyilatkozta Bakó Zsolt a rendezvény főszervezője, valamint hozzátette, hogy “a sikeres cégek egyre több tudással és tapasztalattal segítik most induló társaikat.”
Az eseménynek idén az egyik legsikeresebb hazai technológiai vállalkozás, a LogMeIn irodája adott otthont és a csapatokat olyan tapasztalt mentorok segítették, mint például Fehér Gyula a Ustream alapítója vagy az Egyesült Államokból a rendezvény miatt idelátogató Dave Parker, sorozatvállalkozó és befektető.
A budapesti csapatok közül a Microsoft, a Corvinus Kockázati Tőkealap és az AVEC Accelerator szakembereiből álló zsűri választotta ki a két legígéretesebb startupot, amelyek mától a globális döntőben bizonyíthatnak. Az első helyezett ARYS segítségével a városban járva az okostelefonunk képernyőjén keresztül virtuális üzeneteket, képeket, videókat helyezhetünk el az utcán vagy a házfalakon, amiket csak azok az emberek láthatnak, akikkel ezt meg szeretnénk osztani. A második helyezett Opp.io pedig egy rendkívül egyszerű projekt menedzsment alkalmazást kínál az üzleti felhasználók számára, ami észrevétlenül illeszkedik be a munkahelyi levelezésbe, megkönnyítve ezzel a cégen belüli együttműködést.
“A tavalyi Startup Weekend idején egy nagyon inspiráló környezetben tökéletesíthettük az ötletünket, és valós problémákra mutató visszajelzéseket kaptunk a mentoroktól és a többi résztvevőtől” – emlékszik vissza Wohlmuth Máté a 2012-es győztes projekt, a SOPRESO.com alapítója. A prezentációk interaktivitását és hatékonyságát növelő alkalmazást fejlesztő vállalkozás a versenyt követően több hónapos előkészítés után írt alá együttműködési megállapodást a Day One Capital Zrt.-vel. A befektetésnek köszönhetően a napokban léptek piacra termékük első publikus verziójával.