It has been one month since we all got together to discuss and celebrate the best startup ideas in a circle of dedicated women and male allies. Why not look back at how the Techstars Weekend Women Vienna went?
First of its kind in Vienna, the Techstars Startup Weekend Women took place over the last September weekend, from Friday, September 20 till Sunday, September 22. Vienna already hosted a similar event – Techstars Startup Weekend – about five years ago; this time, however, the event was dedicated exclusively to female founders (male allies were permitted to contribute to the development of business ideas, but not put forward their own).
Friday evening was reserved for pitching the ideas – out of 16 ideas 6 got voted for and were greenlighted to proceed and form teams. The work continued throughout the weekend with the teams working on bringing their ideas to life. All participants were supported by 27 mentors – each an expert in their respective fields. Additionally, everyone had a chance to participate in 8 workshops which covered everything – from how to make a perfect pitch to how to secure funding. On Sunday afternoon, the participants were encouraged to bring in their friends and family to the final presentation of the ideas. The event reached its climax with the award ceremony , when the best startup idea – Findzz- a service with an aim to connect psychotherapists and patience, was granted a trip to the Global Startup Weekend which will be taking place in Singapore in March 2020.
Techstars Startup Weekend Women Vienna would not have been possible without its team of 10 organizers and its multiple sponsors: Vienna Business Agency, Berndorf Privatstiftung, Siencnik Consulting, Wirtschaftskammer Wien, KulturenReich, Köstinger International Consulting, Nasch Sportswear, Boston Consulting Group, Sticker Mule, Ecovis, What a Venture, Inrego, Introwise, Red Bull, Koza and Greenwell. The team behind the Startup Weekend also expresses its immense gratitude to the host of the event – Talent Garden Vienna.
There’s so much more about the Weekend workshops coming in! So, you know what to pitch and how to pitch it – now what? Keep calm and carry on working of course!
In order to help you out to keep on track, Sinem Günel will offer a workshop on Productivity: “Oftentimes we waste our time being busy working on the wrong this instead of being highly productive. Productivity is not only about efficiency but also about working on the things that really matter (being effective). The workshop ,,Busy vs. Productive’’ will give an overview of how to identify and eliminate time-wasters and focus on the really important things. You’ll learn about strategies that you can implement into your everyday life to increase your productivity and work on the really important to-do’s. We’ll even take time to analyze your current to-do list and figure out what to eliminate so that you can immediately start being productive instead of busy.”
And who else is going to point you to success? Nadia Boersch will school you on the importance of the Personal Branding: “What do people think about you before and as soon as you enter a room? There are few people that enter a room and everyone turns to think „who is that person“ or „ I know that person“. Sometimes this may appear like magic, but there are two ways to achieve this effect – a strong personal brand and a strong presence & confidence.
We will show you strategies & shortcuts of how to build a professional personal brand in particular for start-ups and we will demonstrate how you can improve the most important part of your personal brand: your confidence & your presence.”
Having ideas, presenting and developing them and being productive and proactive about your work is all fun and games, but you know what a good pitch should eventually lead to? That’s right, appropriate funding. Lisa-Marie Fassl will talk about how to get to people’s minds and wallets.
“In this workshop we’ll talk about the opportunities to receive funding for your project/company. We’ll discuss the different types of investors and what type of funding suits you best. Some do’s and don’ts as well as best practices will be shared.”
Looking forward to the weekend? So are we!!!
Will we only network and develop our ideas? Not quite. Our participants will also have a possibility to attend various workshops offered by five wonderful entrepreneurs – each a specialist in their field.
Let’s start with the Startup Weekend’s own Asetila Köstinger. Tila will present a workshop on business model canvas, where she will talk about bringing your ideas to life and profiting off them: “Ideas are great fun to dream and to talk about. Nevertheless, it is a long journey from an idea to a viable business idea. Great ideas should also have great revenue models behind which can make them sustainable businesses. The business model canvas is one simple tool that explains a business in nine blocks. It also brings clarity to the question “How will we make money?” Join this workshop to learn about the canvas and immediately apply it to your idea.”
Another person that will share his knowledge with us is Alex de Jong. Both on Saturday and on Sunday the participants will have a chance to participate in two linked workshops on how to give a great pitch. Saturday will be all about the pitching process:
“A powerful pitch will make or break your business. In sixty minutes, you’ll walk away with a five-step process and pick up the tools you need to turn your idea into compelling a winning offer.
After 779 pitches prepared over 10 years, it’s all too often I see jury members with a confused look on their face and founders stumbling over questions. NO LONGER – You’ll have clarity and confidence in your project so that it’s easily understandable and investable.
You won’t be sat down listening; you’ll be thrown outside your comfort zone, you’ll be standing up, speaking up and learning by doing from the first minute.”
What about Sunday? Alex will develop the notion of perfect pitch further and will train you to deliver one yourself:
“How do you feel when you’re called up to the stage? Excited or exhausted? Worried or like a winner?
In thirty minutes, we’ll build upon yesterday’s techniques to go further. You’ll walk away with rehearsal techniques to make you stand out, be spectacular and give the best pitch of your life. You’ll feel like a champion before you open your mouth and make your first words impactful so you leave a lasting impression.
You’ve structured the perfect pitch… it’s time to PRACTICE, and in this workshop, there’ll be no shortage of opportunities.”
Since we know that there cannot be enough help from the experiences entrepreneurs, tomorrow we are going to present the three fantastic female founders, who are also going to help you develop your idea into something material!
Dear Wonder Women of Vienna! We thought we might as well let you know that for this Startup Weekend, we’ve partnered with Introwise to help you get the most out of the 3 days of the event. Introwise SWW page is a single place where you can connect with other participants, organizers and mentors before, during and after the event. You can see other participants’ skills, discuss project ideas and find teammates, even before coming to the hackathon.
Here are the 3 steps to use Introwise wisely:
- Join the SWW event page and fill your interests.
- Once you’re in, explore other people’s Group Chats (we call them Circles) and join anything that interests you.
- Create your own Circle – pitch your idea to get feedback, new ideas, to find teammates.
That’s it! In no time you’ll be connected in conversations with people who shared your interests.
During the event:
- Check out mentors tab to see who’s available and request help from them.
- Turn on instant push or email notifications not to miss important messages.
After the event:
Use Introwise SWW page to follow up with the people in conversation or find their contacts to reach out directly. It is your community that stays with you!
Introwise is a woman-led startup helping people make meaningful connections, be it offline at events or online in communities. The people behind it are no strangers to Vienna too, as they’ve graduated from the Female Founders Grow F program in Vienna in June 2019. Join Introwise SWW page and say hi to the founders – Genia and Denis!
In order to prepare the participants for the eventful days of Techstars Startup Weekend Vienna Women, on Saturday and Sunday mornings, right before we proceed with workshops and ideas, we will meditate together under the guidance of Natalie Hörberg.
Natalie is a relaxation and mindfulness trainer, language teacher for German & French and a singer, but most importantly, Natalie is our calming pole in the hustle. She will guide you through morning meditation helping to focus and will give advice on how you can structure your daily routine, create and stick to new useful habits.
Natalie is a French-German extrovert. She graduated with a degree in economics and worked as a marketing and personal assistant in international companies for over 15 years. Before starting her professional career, she first went on a 7-month-long world tour where she had a chance to gain a lot of intercultural knowledge. Natalie always wanted to understand people, she wanted to work with people.
For that very reason, ten years ago she quit her job. She began a new chapter in her life by completing a musical training in Paris as she believed that would contribute to her personal growth (and it did!). Four years ago, she moved to Vienna and started to work as a language trainer. Last year, she took part in a relaxation and mindfulness training as she wanted to combine this with her teaching. Since then, she keeps on being busy as a singer, teacher for language schools as well as for her own PEP.S Sprachtraining, additionally to being active as a presenter and role-player for management trainings.
She is used to being on stage and in front of the camera and loves to bring enthusiasm and to pass the experience she gained on to her students and those who participate in her trainings. She is convinced that intuition plays an important role in this fascinating job as well.
Come and meet Natalie at our Techstars Startup Weekend Vienna, she is looking forward to introducing you to a more mindful way of living!
On the first evening of the Startup Weekend Women Vienna we will have the one-minute pitch. While pitching on Friday is optional, each participant will have the chance to share their idea and inspire other participants to join her team.
So what is a Pitch, anyway?
A pitch is the presentation of a business idea to potential investors/ customers/ partners etc in a short predefined amount of time.
While there are different pitch formats, which we will learn about in a dedicated workshop during the Startup Weekend Women Vienna, for now we will focus on the One Minute Pitch.
Many people think pitching is scary but as an experienced pitcher I can tell you that it could be great fun.
Don’t we pitch ourselves, our ideas or our products every day? What difference does a microphone make?
This time, the purpose of your pitch is to get the other participants so excited about your idea that they want to join your team immediately.
“You can have the most innovative idea in the world, but if you can’t get people excited about it, it doesn’t matter” Steve Jobs
Divide your pitch in 4 parts:
Keep in mind that you only have one minute to pitch, so use every second well. Don’t talk about your university degrees, your previous jobs, your family life or the countries you have lived in. There is no time for this.
I recommend you to distribute your time as follows:
1. I am …. (5-10 seconds)
Try to use a hook so people will remember you and your skill set.
Example: My name is Melody, I’m a fashion designer and I also love coding. I have launched three collections so far and programmed two apps.
2.The problem I have noticed is …. (10-20 seconds)
Try to explain the problem in a simple way so that the audience can relate to it.
Example: How many of you ask yourselves before buying clothes or shoes: Is it produced in a sustainable way? There are hundreds of brands out there but you would like to choose an ethical one and you don’t know what to choose. You could go to website of the companies and check their promises but still there is no way of verifying them. And all this is very time-consuming.
3.My solution is…. (10-20 seconds)
Explain your solution in a credible and logical way. And of course add your secret sauce.
Example: I propose to develop a platform and app that brings transparency on the Corporate Social Responsibility of the fashion industry, that is built on blockchain.
4.I am looking for …. (5-10 seconds)
Finish your pitch with a call for action – What people with what skill sets you are looking for.
Example: I am looking for developers and marketing people that would love to join me and together build a startup that will help to make our world a better place.
Finally go there and shine! Pitching is always show business!
People love to join forces with someone who is passionate, motivated and skillful, and of course they want to work on meaningful ideas.
Every sentence should be short, clear and meaningful!
Important!!!! Do NOT read your pitch – it must be memorized.
Finally practice, practice, practice!
Then practice some more with high energy and by putting more emotion in the pitch!
Now go out there and shine! I am sure You will rock it!
I will be there if you need any last advice.
If you don’t have a ticket yet, get your ticket here for the Startup Weekend Women Vienna 2019.
After a brief pause, we continue introducing you to our amazing team of superheroes: so today, please meet Raphael. Besides being our contact point with the host of the event – Talent Garden Vienna – Raphael is also responsible for Sales and Partnerships Management at Talent Garden. Prior to coming back and settling in Vienna, Raphael had the chance to live and work in three different countries: Italy, France, and Spain, while doing his master studies. Therefore, he is fluent in 4 languages: German, English, Spanish and Italian. Alongside his studies, Raphael was involved in a variety of projects and have worked together with people from different cultural backgrounds. Experiencing so many countries and cultures allowed Raphael to develop a truly multicultural mindset and to leave ethnocentric thinking behind.
Raphael really enjoys being part of the Talent Garden family as he believes that working together with people from all over the world represents the ideal fit for him. When Raphael is not busy getting in touch with old and new Talent Garden partners or pitching ideas he enjoys doing all kinds of sports.
We are very grateful for having Raphael on board with us and we heard that he also cannot wait to see you all next Friday!
Two weeks before the Startup Weekend Women Vienna takes place, we, the organizing team, some volunteers, and the wonderful and creative Nadine Schratzberger from NASCH Sportswear gathered together to make something very unique for our participants. We thought we’d gift everyone who is going to take part in the Weekend with a special present. And so, we produced completely handmade and very sustainable tablet/laptop bags!
We got together on a gloomy Sunday morning in a place with truly grand view.
In order to make the bags, everyone brought some old clothes or textiles that are still pretty but no longer in use, because who throws good things away? Certainly not us. We believe in reusing and recycling as we know for a fact that something truly incredible can be made out of things instead of just getting rid of them. And so we worked in teams. People cut the textiles to get the needed shape, others selected the matching patterns and Nadine did the hardest part: she sewed the bags!
Then, as a way of expressing our creative and artistic personalities, we hand-painted the bags with our sponsors’ logos. It was a very hard and labor-intensive day – we worked from nine in the morning till six in the evening! But today the whole team woke up happy knowing that none of our participants will go home empty handed – everybody will have a small souvenir they can use on a daily basis while simultaneously reminiscing about the great 54 hours of that September weekend.
By now you probably know that we are going to do a LOT on the Techstars Startup Weekend Women, right? We will present the ideas, get feedback and support, collaborate and network among many other cool things. But what about some fun?
Enter: Nia. I know, it’s confusing. So, let me explain. Nia is a sensory-based movement practice which is a combination of martial arts, dance arts and healing arts. Nia is designed to nurture, condition and nourish your body and your soul. Classes are taken barefoot to soul-stirring music and the trainings are designed for those seeking personal enrichment and development. The practice blends nine different movement forms: Tai Chi, Aikido, Tae Kwon Do, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Jazz, the work of Moshe Feldenkrais, the Alexander Technique and Yoga. Every class offers a unique combination of 52 moves that correspond the main areas of the body: the base, the core and the upper extremities.
Who will introduce you to the exciting world of Nia? Enter: Esther Berg. She is a black belt Nia teacher who is also a physiotherapist and a certified energy healer. Esther has been practicing since 2000 and she knew immediately that teaching Nia would be her calling. Having taught the practice for almost two decades, Esther’s biggest dream finally came true: she opened her own Nia studio in Vienna and called it VIBES.
On Saturday, Esther will offer a 30-minute class for the participants to help them unwind from all the thinking and sitting down. She is hoping that her passion and enthusiasm will find new Nia followers among the participants of Techstars Startup Weekend Women.
Since our team is so wonderful, we won’t stop until we present the very last member (still quite a way to go)! So today you are going to get to know our Event Manager – Gabriela Petrov! She is very young indeed, but don’t let it fool you as Gabriela is an amazingly creative young entrepreneur with a ton of innovative ideas!
In addition to being a student of International Business Administration, Gabriela is also active as a Project Manager at KulturenReich. Prior to that, Gabby was involved in various other projects: she worked as a journalist for an online newspaper, content creator, and even managed websites for different businesses!
Just like everyone else on the team, Gabriela takes pleasure in helping others. For that very reason she has been volunteering since her high school times – Gabby helped out as an event coordinator and acted as a coach in an exchange program. She also did an exchange year in Switzerland – how cool is that! When not working or studying, Gabriela loves travelling or cozying up with a good book. Given her experience in content creation, Gabby is an avid writer who likes to pen an article or two for the projects she’s a part of.
Having lived and travelled all over the place, Gabriela naturally speaks 6 languages: Romanian, Russian, English, German, French and even Chinese!
This year, she received a scholarship to attend European Forum Alpbach that took place in the second half of August. Gabriela plans to translate this experience into her future ventures, including, of course, the Techstars Startup Weekend Women in Vienna!
Want to practice your language skills? Or talk about the European ideas and ideals? Have a talk with Gabriela during the Weekend!