Techstars Startup Weekend Facilitators are stewards of the Techstars Startup Weekend mission. They are the on-the-ground support at events around the world, there to ensure that every community has an amazing experience.
Q: How did your journey start with Techstars Startup Weekend?
Filippos: My first experience with Techstars Startup Weekend was back in 2012, when I was a volunteer helping out the organizing team for Athens Startup Weekend University. I was blown away by the event, its structure, the overall vibe and the impact it had on the participants. I remember how it felt different from every other startup event I had been to: it felt global, and it felt real. It wasn’t about long presentations or sponsor talks, it was truly all about action. It made me want to participate, to organize, to be more involved. After this event, I went on to become a leading organizer for the university vertical in Athens, bringing people together from different universities all over Greece to team up, share ideas and turn them into viable businesses.
Q: Why did you decide that you wanted to become a Facilitator?
Filippos: I have a huge passion for educating, connecting, and motivating people. To be able to combine that with meeting different communities from all over the world is something incredible. I knew I wanted to become a Facilitator from the time I saw David Andersen absolutely rocking the Athens stage with his passion and great energy, he was the person that truly inspired me. I wanted to further explore how different local communities approach entrepreneurship and the Techstars Startup Weekend mission, and being a Facilitator was an amazing opportunity for me to do so.
Q: What do you enjoy most about being a Facilitator?
Filippos: Meeting community leaders from all over the world, helping them grow their local communities, and being able to support and empower people with big aspirations. As facilitators, we get to be at the forefront of innovation at any place we visit. We are there to help, to listen, to share, and to act as connectors. It’s something extremely rewarding and unique, and has been one of the most important factors for my personal growth in recent years.
Q: What is your best memory of facilitating at a Techstars Startup Weekend?
Filippos: I have numerous great memories from facilitating, but I’ll always remember one from the first event I ever facilitated in Sheffield, United Kingdom. During the Sunday after party, one of the oldest participants came to me and said: “On Friday night you said this event would change our lives, and I thought it was just a corny, motivational statement. And I was wrong. Because of the people, the energy, and the work we managed to pull off, this event truly changed my life, and was nothing like I had expected.” Till this day, this was one of the most rewarding moments of my life.
Q: Do you have any advice for those Organisers who are hesitant to take the plunge and apply to become a Facilitator?
Filippos: Don’t hesitate! Facilitating is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. You are already halfway there by being an active organizer, and that takes tremendous effort and skill. Facilitation is going to be that next step that will let you connect with even more communities and truly embrace the global aspect of Techstars Startup Weekend.
Techstars Global Startup Weekend is coming on November 2–4, 9–11, and 16–18, 2018! 15,000 entrepreneurs at 200+ locations around the globe believe they can build a startup in a weekend. Challenge yourself. Join us.