That’s a wrap on Startup Weekend Kuala Lumpur Women! What a weekend it was — full of networking, teamwork, learning, new challenges, tons of coffee consumption, innovative approaches, secret dance parties and awesome pitches. Most importantly though, it was a weekend full of empowerment, support and the familiar Startup Weekend magic that turned fresh new ideas into incredible realities. 💡💪🏼💯
The main goal of having a women’s edition weekend is to encourage and inspire more female leaders in startup teams, and to connect more women to the vast number of resources and mentors available in our startup community. Male participants are welcomed — but with a smaller quota of available spots so as to encourage a larger participation rate of women in the roles of participants, mentors, organizers and judges. SWKL Women aims to help elevate entrepreneurship and inclusion around the world, one Startup Weekend Women at a time.
The format of Startup Weekend Women does not differ at all from general Startup Weekends. It still is focused on enabling participants to test their ideas and meet awesome people they probably would never have met otherwise! It is about learning how a startup works, what problems a startup might have, how to co-work with others (both men and women), how to deal with VC, how to lead a team, how to create a narrative about your startup, how to talk to your customers, why you need to understand your customer — and being amazed by people’s creativity, by people’s strength, and by people’s ability to learn and awe! We wanted to give participants all the right elements of a crazy, intense, fun weekend that showed them how much they can learn, create and grow in just 54 hours! Throughout the weekend, they were also introduced not only to a bunch of ambitious dreamers, but also to a network of experienced mentors, startups founders, enthusiast, community builders & investors.
THE WEEKEND COUNTDOWN.
On Friday there was a room full of ideas 65 bright-eyed participants, and19 ideas pitched — one presented as spoken word poetry. That night, 11 teams were formed, ready to kick-start their crazy weekend together. Over the next two days, the teams worked tirelessly to bring their 60 second pitch into something tangible and sustainable. We had the pleasure of having 24 remarkable mentors join us over the weekend to challenge, guide and support our 11 burgeoning teams.
As a few of our mentors noted, although there were no idea restrictions or themes over the weekend, almost all — 8/11 ideas — were centered around social impact. It was incredibly inspiring and heartening to see how these amazing women-led startups came up with tangible ideas not just to make money, but to positively impact society and the people around them. #WomenYouAmazeUs
Two days later we had a room full of new and innovative business concepts and our 11 teams were ready to pitch their idea in front of our jury and the greater audience! *EXCITED VIBES IN THE AIR!!!*.
It is incredibly humbling to see so many awesome and innovative business ideas born and built at this Startup Weekend! Although the spirit of Startup Weekend isn’t the competition — but rather the education and experience — on Sunday evening everyone (teams and organisers alike) were curious to see which teams and ideas were able to convince the panel of judges on their viability and sustainability. So, there were a few prizes to help their startup grow after the weekend was over.
AND THE WINNERS ARE…
After thorough deliberation, our five judges finally came to a consensus. They loved all the ideas so much, that they decided to award two honourable mentions — just because they couldn’t fit all the amazing ones into the top three. So before we share the winners, a big shoutout and thank you to our five all-star judging panel:
- Choo Dee Wei | Partner at Dee at Netto, Fatimah & Ng)
- Eugénie Laarman-Boekel | Global Sr. Brand Manager Friso at FrieslandCampina
- Freda Liu | Producer & Presenter (Enterprise Lead) at BFM Media
- Jes Min Lua | Founder at RecomN
- Zahira Sughra Zainuddin | Head, SVP GHRM Office, PETRONAS
Honourable Mention | THE GREEN NETWORK – A mobile based app to advocate green initiatives through incentives by changing the mindset and behaviour changes for urban dwellers to prioritise recycling in their daily lives.
Honourable Mention | CONFIDENT STARZ – An online and offline platform to promote confidence, healthy body image and girl power amongst 9 to 18 year old girls.
2nd Runner Up | MISS TRAVELLER – An online platform dedicated to connect and assist (sole and group) female travellers in search of adventure from start to finish.
1st Runner Up | ON TIME – A (Waze-like) mobile application to track public transport in Malaysia using peer-to-peer data.
Winner | PINK COLLAR – A socially responsible online platform that upholds the safety and rights of vetted domestic workers, and connecting them with vetted households in search of their services.
CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE!
YOU’RE ALL WINNERS IN OUR BOOKS! We believe that it is possible to keep moving ahead after Startup Weekend and we dare to believe that the spark that we fired on Startup Weekend is a real possibility to get your startup off the ground!
We are, always, so humbled by the brilliant women we are fortunate enough to constantly be surrounded by. Keep on kicking-ass ladies (and gentlemen). We’re always going to be cheering you on!
Lastly, and most importantly, we at SWKL Women would like to thank all the members of our amazing organising & supporting team, weekend Googlers, mentors, participants, partner, supporters and friends who helped make this weekend one for the books! A very special thank you to Google Malaysia for hosting us; MaGIC for supporting us; and MissMafia for being an awesome community partner. This weekend would not have been possible without all these amazing people behind it.
Follow up at Startup Weekend Women APAC to be up-to-date on all the latest Startup Weekend Women news & events in Asia Pacific!
Upcoming cities include Singapore, Shanghai, Ulaanbaatar, AND MORE!
For more info, drop us a line at Startup Weekend Women KL. And lastly, if you’re keen to organise a Startup Weekend Women in Asia Pacific, please drop Lalitha Wemel a note at lalitha(dot)wemel(at)techstars(dot)com.
We are sincerely appreciate to all our sponsors. Thank you for your support to make this happen!
An exclusive sneak peak profile at our mentors Maker Edition Startup Weekend Georgetown. Come and meet them personally coming this Friday. See you there!
What happens on Friday, Saturday and Sunday?
Friday: Participants arrive between 5-7 PM, begin networking, and eat dinner. After an ice-breaking game and a short introduction by the Facilitator, there will typically be 1 short speaker talk on practical topics ranging from Pitching Best Practices to Lean Startup Methodology and more. Then the “Pitchfire” will commence: anyone intending to pitch will have 60 seconds to give their best pitch. No presentations or props needed for Friday, it will just be you and a mic. After pitches are finished, all attendees will vote on their favorites, and using these votes the top ideas will be selected to be worked on over the weekend. Teams will form organically, consolidate, and begin working.
Saturday: Teams will work all day, with the occasional breaks to eat or listen to 1-2 short talks. Coaches will be circulating to provide advice in the field of their expertise for those teams that want it.
Sunday: Teams will work uninterrupted from morning until mid-afternoon. They’ll begin wrapping up their product/prototype and presentation around 3-4 PM to do tech-checks and practice their demonstration. After all Judges have arrived presentations will begin. Each team typically has 5 minutes plus 2-3 minutes Q&A from the judges (this varies occasionally.) The judges will select the top teams, give out prizes (if applicable), and the event ends (and celebration begins!)
What types of ideas can I pitch?
Any business ideas are eligible (whether for profit, ‘social’ businesses, nonprofit organizations, etc.), however the event is strongly tech-oriented. Approximately 95% of all ideas are mobile or web focused, and given the short time-frame, we strongly recommend that even non-tech ideas focus on a tech-related deliverable (i.e., website) by Sunday.
Can I pitch more than one idea?
Depending on the number of ideas pitched and the schedule, you may or may not be able to pitch multiple ideas. Prioritize your ideas: pitch your best idea (and the one you have most prepared for) first.
Can I pitch my existing business?
No. Startup Weekend is designed to be the most effective platform for growing new businesses from the ground up over the course of a weekend. A key facet of the weekend – and a central value for participants – is the spirit of complete collaboration, buy-in, and ownership. We’ve found that having existing businesses in the mix undermines this spirit, in addition to creating an imbalance between those ideas that are truly ground-level.
How do I protect against people stealing my idea?
The short answer is that you can’t. If you’re very concerned, you can limit your pitch to the rough outline of the idea without giving away key information.The longer answer is that this is not something worth worrying about. Unless you are confident your idea is a ‘key-in-hand’, easy-to-implement innovation that hasn’t been thought of yet, the advantages gained from getting broad-based feedback and a strong team motivated by collective ownership far outweigh the remote risks of someone stealing and executing on your idea. The truth is that over 90% of ideas pitched at any given Startup Weekend have already been pitched – probably many times – in the past. This doesn’t imply that the idea isn’t a good one, but rather that what truly matters is how well you and your teamexecute the idea. “One can steal ideas, but no one can steal execution or passion”
What if my idea doesn’t get selected?
The purpose of the Friday voting and crowdsourcing isn’t to exclude certain ideas, but simply to highlight the most popular and high-potential pitches and end up with a manageable number of teams – ensuring that each team has a variety of backgrounds and skills. If your idea isn’t selected but you’ve formed a team around the idea, you’re welcome to work on it over the weekend. If you decide to do so, however, please tell the event Organizer, as this may be an issue regarding your teams’ eligibility for prizes.
Am I expected to work for 54 hours?
No. At some events, certain teams will decide to work all through Friday and/or Saturday night, but this is by no means obligatory or expected. Whether or not you are allowed to work at the venue at night depends on the venue’s opening hours – please ask your local Organizer.
What resources/assistance is provided over the weekend?
A key part of every Startup Weekend is the valuable advice and assistance provided by the event’s Speakers and Coaches. In the spirit of “No Talk, All Action” we try to keep talks short and sweet, focusing on practical issues (i.e. “how to give a persuasive pitch”, “best approaches to customer validation”) that can actually help you and your team better achieve your weekend goals. Mentors – community experts in various fields ranging from entrepreneurship, software development, marketing, finance, law, and more – dedicate their time to providing advice and actually rolling up their sleeves and working with teams.In addition to the most valuable resources at the weekend (the people), we’ve also put together a list of some of the most useful resources in all startup-related fields, for both before, during, and after the weekend. Check outstartupweekend.org/resources for more info.
How do teams address the issue of Intellectual Property/ownership?
As with any startup, the team decides. Startup Weekend doesn’t support or take part in the signing of any legal documents at the events themselves, and while Mentors with legal backgrounds are often present and able to give general advice, they are not permitted to give specific legal counsel. While it doesn’t hurt to be clear about your individual expectations from the start, we’ve found that teams who don’t spend time addressing this issue until it actually matters (i.e., there is a tangible product to have ownership of) are much more productive and successful than those who do.
What are we supposed to have accomplished by the end of the weekend?
While there are no specific requirements in terms of what teams should have accomplished by Sunday, it’s in your best interest to plan your execution around what you’ll be judged for on Sunday:
- Customer Validation (did you vet your business?)
- Execution and Design (what did you build?)
- Business Model (do you have a plan for the future?)
As far as presenting goes, some of the most common presentations include any combination of the following (in no particular order):
- Wireframes or fully developed website;
- Mobile Apps (from mock-ups to skeletons to fully functional)
- Slide decks (Powerpoint, Keynote, Prezi, etc.)
- Videos (i.e. product demonstrations, etc.)
- Live product demos
Why is it a competition?
Competition is not a central theme of Startup Weekend, and this is often reflected in the broad, horizontal allocation of prizes and general flexibility/leniency of the event ‘rules.’ If and when the competitive aspect comes into conflict with the positive atmosphere we try to cultivate, we consistently choose the latter. We do believe, however, that friendly competition is beneficial to all parties and, most importantly, more accurately reflects the realities of startup life. Just as it’s important to gather ‘real-world’ feedback over the weekend, it’s also important to have real-world pressures and obstacles.
Is this event for me?
If you are interested in entrepreneurship the answer is most likely yes. Startup Weekend attendee backgrounds are roughly 50% technical (developers, coders, designers) and 50% business (marketing, finance, law). Whether you are a serial entrepreneur or new to the startup scene, if you motivated to build a product or startup and open to new ideas you’ll fit right in.
Do I have to participate all three days?
Apart from Organizers, selected Coaches, Speakers, and press, everyone who attends the event is expected to participate all three days. This is important not only to preserve the ‘vibe’ of the weekend (“no talk, all action”) but also to minimize distractions/disruptions for working teams. However, at most Startup Weekends a “Sunday Presentations Only” registration option is available for those wishing to only view the teams’ final presentations. (Please check the registration page of your city’s website for availability.)
Do I need a team?
Everyone who attends the event as an attendee is expected to participate on a team. This is important not only to preserve the mission of Startup Weekend (teamwork!) but also to minimize distractions/disruptions for all working teams.
At most Startup Weekends, a “Sunday Presentations Only” registration option is available for those wishing to view only the teams’ final presentations. (Please check the registration page of your city’s website for availability.)
Do I have to pitch an idea to attend?
No, but we encourage you to! You can pitch an idea you’ve been thinking about for years, or something last minute you think of during the event. It’s a great experience and invaluable practice for public speaking.
What should I bring?
- Power cord
- Business cards
- Camera – take pictures and video!
- Optional: A second monitor, keyboard, etc…. set yourself up to be productive!
- Lots of creative energy!
How do I prepare?
- Do some research. Market research and background information will give you a better understanding of the probelm your trying to solve.
- Practice your pitch. You’ll have 60 seconds to persuade other attendees to join your team. Make it clear, concise, and convincing!
- Get familar with our tools for the weekend, head over to startupweekend.org/resources
- Get some rest.
- Bring a friend! Events are better with good company.
What are the rules?
We have rules for the weekend that ensure everyone has a great experience. These are detailed in our Terms of Agreement.
Do you have any ideas in mind for your startup? Now Startup Weekend Kuching is here to realize your dream!
“No Talk, All Action” Launch your startup within 54 hours!
Startup Weekend is 54-hour workshop where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch your startup!
Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. Come share ideas, form teams, and launch startups. Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable. On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical or design backgrounds, the other half have business backgrounds.
Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday (27 Nov 2015), attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday (28 Nov2015) and Sunday (29 Nov 2015) teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts (judges).
Euginn Lim is the founder & CEO of discoverJB, a hyperlocal content platform that is on a mission to enable locals to experience the joy of exploring their own city. With a strong social media reach (300,000+ followers), the site reaches close to a million readers each month by curating & creating original city content.
Ask Euginn about his experience @ Startup Weekend Johor Bahru 2015 !
Haven’t got your tickets ? Buy here : http://peatix.com/event/122209
Startup Weekend Johor Bahru
November 20th, 2015
Rob, founded Common Extract, a boutique Mobile Apps and Games development company, providing development and consultancy services to various sectors in the region. He also co-founded ONz with William Yap, a sports startup that is currently transitioning under Ministry of Youth and Sports’s #FitMalaysia campaign. Common Extract also partner with regional industry leaders to penetrate the Mobile App market utilizing their existing network and reach.
Rob & his Common Extract team recently won RM100,000 in a mobile game hackathon organised by Media Prima.