Wow. What a weekend!
Can you believe two weeks have passed already?
All of us on the organising team had an absolute blast with you guys at Startup Weekend. It’s crazy to think from humble beginnings back in 2012, we’ve now had 10 successful Startup Weekends in Sheffield!
We’ve had hundreds of attendees join us at multiple venues over the years, pitching hundreds more amazing, innovative and downright awesome ideas. We’ve witnessed teams rise to the top, going on to further success after the weekend – but we’ve also witnessed teams fail to validate and find viable revenue streams, and consequently fall apart.
It’s all part of life as a startup.
What’s really cool is what you all achieved over one short weekend.
We started on Friday with 42 enthusiastic participants, of which 40 were complete Startup Weekend newbies. As organisers this is wonderful to see. The reason we volunteer our time to organise these events is to inspire, educate and empower people like you to come and have a go at starting your own business’.
From here, 25 kick-ass ideas were pitched, before being whittled down by popular vote into 8 well-rounded teams.
Ultimately, come Sunday evening, every single team pitched brilliantly to a panel of judges known to be tough-cookies (especially with the last minute appearance of Scott Woodley from Tutora). You weathered their questions and inquisitions before 3 teams were finally crowned winners of the 10th Startup Weekend Sheffield, plus one most excellent crowd-favourite.
Of course, we then all went to celebrate with far too much food and plenty of refreshing cocktails – it’s what everyone looks forward to about the weekend, right? 😉
It’s important to know that whether you win at Startup Weekend or not, if you’re passionate about pursuing your ideas and can validate a need for your product/service within your target audience, you should absolutely go for it.
We want to be inviting you guys as mentors and judges at our 20th event, so get cracking!
To cap it off: We really enjoyed ourselves and we hope you did too. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making Startup Weekend AH-MAY-ZING!
Stay in touch, let us know what you’re up to and just ask if you need any support. See you next time, maybe?
Chris, Chrissie, Eva, Giorgio, Harriet & James
P.S. – If you’re interested in Ted’s loose-leaf tea he was peddling all weekend, you can check out his startup DiversiTea here!
Here are the amazing teams and what they are building this weekend at Startup Weekend Sheffield 2-4 June 2017.
Awesome Ever After
Online children’s stories giving a modern twist to traditional tales with interactive problem solving and choose your own endings.
A unique employment agency helping future employees with mental health issues find work in the tech industry whilst educating employers about how they can make their workplaces a better place for these people to work.
F**k off Fund
The F**k off Fund helps you GTFO ASAP when you’re in trouble abroad. A chatbot that holds your hand through the stressful process of getting home, giving you a logistics plan when you’re too distressed to think straight.
HomeGrown Britain reconnects you with your farmer to help you understand where your food is coming from. It gives you the ability to be able to choose high-quality farmers and get your produce straight to your door.
Muze App aims to make the world a richer place, adding value to and working with museums and exhibitions. Increasing engagement through augmented reality and enabling a new community of ad-hoc exhibitions.
Live with a host and learn a language through a culturally immersive experience. Making it easier for people who want to learn a language to ‘actually’ learn it.
When I found out about @SWSheffield, I debated for a long time whether I should go or not. I didn’t want to launch a business, I already had one, and there was no plan to change that. So why go?
Well, I wanted to see how I felt about working on businesses with a team, as opposed to being a freelance/indie developer, which can be isolating. This was a chance to get out and find out what I wanted. There was going to be 3 meals a day (very important), what did I have to lose?
At the event, a guy called Ted gave me the obligatory t-shirt and name tag before telling me where the food was. I grabbed some snacks and sat down amongst the other attendees. I managed to get chatting to a few people, and before I knew it, my nerves had gone.
Pitch Time…team formed, now it began, for real.
I didn’t have an idea (like most) and that wasn’t a problem, you don’t need to have an idea. After the people who did had pitched, the facilitator offered everyone else the chance, even if it was a small half-baked idea. I decide in that moment to take a chance and get the experience. So, I stood up and gave it a go. I would say it wasn’t my finest moment, but I delivered!
Pitches over, ideas narrowed down to the popular ones, it was time to join a team, my main reason for coming along. I’d made a choice and sold my skills to Saskia, who had an idea named ‘Spare Change’. Our team of 6 was formed, and now it began, for real.
We grabbed a table, which would become Spare Change HQ for the weekend. This was my first opportunity to see how working in a team felt. There’s no hierarchy or power plays here. This is proper teamwork. We all offered up our thoughts and within a few hours we had refined a high-level idea into a well-defined business plan. Tomorrow was the day we would validate, but for now it was home to bed, worn out from the excitement.
Saturday…it’s work that you actually want to do.
We regrouped over breakfast (very important), shared ideas we’d thought about overnight and what followed was 24 hours of exhausting, exciting and fun work. This is work, but it’s work that you actually want to do. You have the choice of doing something new or sticking to what you know. You can go out and pound the pavement doing customer interviews, or remain indoors working on mockups and pitch decks. The weekend isn’t about what you can and can’t do, it about what you want to do.
When Things Clicked…the importance of a good team.
About halfway through, I realised the importance of a good team. A team needs to be balanced. Someone with the skill and passion to do a job that you don’t like is invaluable. You can’t do everything on your own, and I don’t pretend I can, but sometimes I thought I had to, being a solo-founder and all. I learnt that it’s OK (and good) to trust in others.
When 2pm Sunday hits all too soon, you need to trust in all to deliver a good pitch. It’s a team effort. After working most of the night (optional), there isn’t much energy to worry, just have fun instead.
Advice: You should listen to the organisers, they’ve primed the judges on what to look for, so focus on hitting the same points. They will tell you, so listen!
Is that good advice? Yes, we followed that, and we won! I’ll tell you now, the feeling of winning after an exhausting 56 hours is immense. In that moment, everything you’ve worked toward, pays off! We won prizes, and had an awesome afterparty with everyone that attended.
A Year On…
I still enjoy steering my own ship, but I changed from wanting to be a one-man band, to build a valuable team and working together. Although we disbanded the idea a few months on, I made a good friend (shoutout to Harry) and we’re working on a new idea.
I gained a lot from the Sheffield Startup Weekend experience and I recommend it to all. There’s a lot of fun to be had, a lot of knowledgeable people to meet and plenty to learn about yourself. You’ll make friends, win prizes (even if you don’t win 1st place) – I came away with a unicorn ? mug and a chicken ? …
Tickets are available online via Eventbrite.com
For more information, visit www.sheffield.up.co or email email@example.com
After debuting our first event way back in 2012, the team behind Startup Weekend Sheffield are gearing up for a special 10th edition of our weekend long entrepreneurial extravaganza.
Taking place on 2nd – 4th June at the University of Sheffield’s Diamond building, Startup Weekend sees participants progress from pitching an idea to launching a real business, in just three days. At the end of the weekend, teams present their ideas, the research behind them and show off the prototype to an expert panel of judges.
Sheffield has a huge pool of talent and is an ideal location for you to launch a new venture, and a Startup Weekend is a great place to kick it off. It’s a chance to learn, be inspired and meet likeminded people to collaborate with.
A team of mentors, experts in all aspects of business, development, design and pitching will be on hand to help teams develop their ideas of the weekend. As a special theme for the 10th event, we’re inviting ‘blast from the past’ judges and mentors who have helped host previous events. If you’re an experienced Startup Weekender you’ll probably recognise a few!!
At other Startup Weekends all over the world, teams have gone on to create successful businesses worth millions of pounds and Sheffield has its own success stories. Drone-footage company, Airstoc, and Goodvid.io, a platform to connect brands with user generated video content, were both conceived during a Startup Weekend Sheffield event.
“Attending Startup weekend generally did transform my life. It opened my eyes to the tech world and what could be achieved in a short space of time with the right team. For Airstoc, we used it to test out an idea and even more importantly, to find potential co-founders, which enabled us to start our own business the following month. For anyone who is interested in entrepreneurship, or just wants a fun weekend, I highly recommend it.”
Giles Moore, Co-Founder and CEO at Airstoc
“I wasn’t sure what to expect from Startup Weekend other than the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with like-minded people. But it turned out that it was Startup Weekend Sheffield that got Goodvid.io started. It was all the motivation we needed to put other things aside and start working on Goodvid.io as our main project.”
Dimitrios Kourtesis, Co-Founder at Goodvi.io
You don’t need to have an idea or an existing team to join in. You don’t even need to be from Sheffield to take part with people from all over the UK joining in. Just turn up with an open mind, the will to get started, and a ticket!
Tickets are available online via Eventbrite.com – just search for ‘Startup Weekend Sheffield.
For more information, visit www.sheffield.up.co or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This Tuesday saw the first Sheffield-based Ignite Pre-Accelerator programme kick off at the Evolve Coworking Space with bundles of beer, sacks of snacks, and startups-a-plenty.
A four week course aimed at preparing concept stage startups for the journey ahead, the Ignite Pre-Accelerator covers Customer Development, Product Development, Investment and Pitching.
Applications were competitive with space for only 10 early-stage startups. On the organising team at Sheffield, we were so proud to hear that four of the teams from our last Startup Weekend (June 2016) were accepted onto the programme and will be working hard over the next few weeks to validate some of their business assumptions, and build on their Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), in a bid to achieve product-market fit.
Spare Change, Escape the Weekend, PhotoQ, and SwipeMail!
This could be you! Our next Startup Weekend is 18-20 November 2016. What’s more, Ignite Programme Lead for Manchester, George Bettany, will be joining our judging panel! Register now!
This November, more than 15,000 entrepreneurs will come together for over 200 events during the two weekends on either side of Global Entrepreneurship Week. When you add them all up, they become Global Startup Weekend.
To celebrate, Techstars has organized some bonus Insider Crowdcast sessions with Techstars experts and previous attendees, and special perks for all attendees of Global Startup Weekend. These include:
- GSW Insider Crowdcast: Finding Your Revenue Formula
Wednesday 1st November, 7pm
Save my Spot!
- GSW Insider Crowdcast: What to Expect at Startup Weekend – Past Attendee AMA
Wednesday 2nd November, 5pm
Save my spot!
- GSW Insider Crowdcast: Developing your 60 Second Pitch
Tuesday 8th November, 4pm
Save my spot!
As well as all this pre-support, winning teams of Global Startup Weekend will receive membership into F6S Alpha, an invite-only membership for selected founders to access $1 million free growth serviecs. Read more.
Techstars says there are more to be announced over the next few weeks.
Keep track of new perks, prizes and resources!
But What About Sheffield?
Good question! We’re also embracing the global Global theme and will be introducing specific judging criteria and a special prize track for world-beating, global ideas. As well as the usual criteria of validation, execution, business model, and design, teams will be rewarded for thinking big and solving worldwide problems with simple, scalable solutions.
Event: Global Startup Weekend
Date: 18-20 November 2016
Whether you’ve been waiting months for Startup Weekend to arrive or if you just signed up this week, you’re probably a little unsure about what to expect. I’ve created a guide to help you know what’s what on Friday night.
Dinner & Networking
Or as I like to call it – stuffing my face and meeting new friends. This is my favourite part. The people I met during Dinner & Networking are the friends I still have. They are always available for me to ask quick questions about absolutely anything. Learn who has what skills, you never know who you may need to ask for a favour. Get to know your new friends!
60 Seconds to Pitch
Got an idea? You get 1 minute to pitch in front of the group. No ideas, no problem! Sit back, relax, and enjoy listening to the pitches. If you change your mind and get a last minute idea, feel free to get in line. Getting your idea out in under a minute may seem difficult, try using the the anatomy of a pitch guidelines:
Choose Your Project
As a group, you will decide which projects will be worked on over the course of the weekend. Each of these will require a range of skills. From the top projects – choose which one you’ll work on over the weekend.
Build a Team
Whether it’s your idea or someone else’s, you’ll create a cross-functional team to work with over the weekend. Use the rest of the evening to learn about each member’s skills and abilities. Make a plan for conquering the weekend and winning Startup Weekend!
Get the Buzz
If you’re experience is anything like mine was, you’ll go home with a buzz – don’t forget to get some sleep.
I can barely believe we have another Startup Weekend on the horizon here in Sheffield. In some ways it doesn’t seem like 5 minutes since we ran our 1st event, with no idea how people would react to it and certainly no concept of how much of a community would grow out of it. But it was more than 5 minutes ago. It was 3 ½ years ago, in November 2012. Continue reading “Startup Weekend: not just ‘a University thing’”
At Startup Weekend, we have three ticket types: Developer, Designer, and General (marketing, business, non-technical). In reality, you’ll probably get stuck into a bit of everything during the weekend, but it’s important for us to know as organisers that there’s enough technical talent in the room to build a few killer teams that create kick-ass products that work well and look good.
Unfortunately, it’s a global problem at Startup Weekend that we struggle to recruit designers. Ideally the ratio would be 1/3 developers 1/3 designers 1/3 general. We tend to get about 1/2 developer and 1/2 general with a couple of designers thrown in at Startup Weekend Sheffield. This is a shame as when we do have a good number of designers, the event is always much better than when we don’t.
So here’s my call to action for designers to get involved in the next Startup Weekend Sheffield (20-22 November 2015). And here’s 10 reasons you should attend. Feel free to get in touch to add anything you think I might have missed!
1. Meet and make friends with awesome people who are creating and building stuff from scratch.
2. Get advice and valuable face-time with expert mentors who could help you in your career.
3. Take the opportunity to promote yourself as an awesome designer.
4. Oh, and have fun. Lots of fun.
5. At Startup Weekend Sheffield, you won’t be forced into teams with people you don’t like to work on ideas you don’t have a passion for. You get to choose the project you work on and the people you work with. You can even pitch your own idea and build your own team.
6. At Startup Weekend, you’re not limited by client requirements. When it comes to the creative concept, you are the designer and you get to choose.
7. Turn your daily workflow process on its head and experiment with iterative design and Lean UX. You might find you love it.
9. Create a visually stunning presentation that secures you and your team the coveted 1st place title.
There’s so much a designer can get out of attending a Startup Weekend, it would be wrong to try and fit it all into this blurb. So check out the website, register, and see for yourself.
10. And use the following code for 20% off Designer tickets: DESIGNSW
Date: 20-22 November 2015
Venue: Electric Works, Sheffield (next to the train station)
More info: http://www.up.co/communities/uk/sheffield/startup-weekend/7381
Awesome slideshare I found: http://www.slideshare.net/IrynaNezhynska/designers-guide-tostartupweekend
I attended startup weekend in March and November of 2014.
Nervous to arrive, and slightly new to the networking and entrepreneurial scene in Sheffield, the pizza table and friendly faces talking excitedly around it, immediately helped me feel welcome. There was a real mix of students, alumni, and working professionals, so conversations were easy, and there was a lot to talk about with people from different backgrounds.
Then came the pitching. I think pretty much 95% of the room were scared to pitch initially, but this soon fell away as one-by-one, individuals started having fun with the pitches and the audience really warmed up to them. By the end of the session, pretty much everyone had pitched in an idea (even if it was just to join in the fun of it with a crazy idea!).
Selecting the top ideas, and picking teams was reasonable easy as I went for the team with a fun but practical idea (the Gyrocup) and a team of uni students, grads, and 2 working professionals (so a nice mix). This then resulted in some fantastic teamwork, barely any sleep, a whole load of laughs, farrrr too many sweets (brought down by one member of the team in a binbag from Cadburys factory!), and an obscene amount of coffee and Redbull. But trust me, this is part of the fun of startup weekend…I mean, if you actually go home and sleep for more than 5-6 hours a night that weekend, you’re probably not getting the full experience! You WANT to be there working your socks off for your team, and you WANT to be in on the fun!
We came second overall in the awards, but the Gyrocup is still well known within the startup weekend Sheffield community to this day.
Since Startup weekend, I have started a business full-time after graduating, ran another business for a short while with a cofounder from startup weekend, and made a genuine friend who is also starting her own business as a result.