The Creativity of Entrepreneurship: Community Leader Spotlight with João Marinelli

“If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business.” —Simon Sinek

João Marinelli loves this Sinek quote about people and business because, as he says: “I love people and love working with them!” To João, entrepreneurship is all about people, and “our power to transform our realities and reinvent (in a positive way) the status quo.”

To João, the truly amazing thing about entrepreneurship is the way that it gives life to people’s creativity, and helps them use their creativity to change the world. “I think that’s why I dedicated almost six years of my life to studying entrepreneurship and being an entrepreneur,” João said. He’s currently working for Darwin Startups, a Brazilian accelerator—named the best accelerator in Brazil by Associação Brasileira de Startups—where he has “freedom to use my creativity and entrepreneurship to develop new products or approaches.”

People, Communities, and Leadership

“I love people, communities, and leadership,” João said, explaining his constant involvement in Techstars Startup Weekends. He attended his first as a participant in 2014, and then got involved with making more happen. He organized three Techstars Startup Weekends, in 2015, 2016, and 2017, growing his responsibilities over time, until in 2017 he became a Facilitator—and since then he’s already facilitated 17 events! “I love it!” João said.

In 2018, João worked with Techstars Brazil to redefine the Community Leader Academy (CLA), and together created a new program for training CLs. The first CLA of 2019 took place at Caxias do Sul/RS in the south of Brazil, in February. As João described, it had a “new model, new style, new ways to work, new dynamics, more people and more hands-on.”

By the end of the event, 16 cities had events planned for their communities for a whole year. “The impact was giant!” João said, with great satisfaction at seeing his hard work pay off. 

Every day, at work and as a Techstars Community Leader, João is “working hard to deliver the best experience for Brazilian ecosystems and entrepreneurs with great and good content and energy.”








“Delivering Meaningful Opportunities to do Good Stuff Together:” Community Leader Spotlight with Pascale Hyboud-Peron

Pascale Hyboud-Peron, Co-founder and Director of Venture Centre, has an awesome Twitter bio: “Creating connections and exploring intersections between people and ideas by delivering meaningful opportunities to do good stuff together #entrepreneurship.”

Meaningful Opportunities to do Good Stuff Together

Pascale’s dedication to entrepreneurship goes far beyond digital self-presentation. Shortly after attending her own first Techstars Startup Weekend in 2013 in Tauranga, New Zealand, Pascale met her Venture Centre co-founders, and together they started this entrepreneurship hub and social enterprise designed to support and grow entrepreneurship in Tauranga: “When not coordinating programmes or producing events in our coworking space, I spend time on exploring and strengthening generative relationships and partnerships to ensure our community of entrepreneurs can access the resources they need to take the next leg of their journey,” Pascale says. “We work with founders with ideas to solve social and environmental problems, from the very early stage past ideation through proof of concept to their first drop sheet.”

Supporting People’s Empowerment

Pascale started her career as a teacher, before discovering her inner entrepreneur. “I was definitely not born an entrepreneur, nor did I call myself one until only very recently,” she says, “But the passion for supporting people’s empowerment has always been there.” She sees that as the through-line that connects her first career in education with her second in entrepreneurship. 

Since 2014, Pascale has been organizing and then facilitating Techstars Startup Weekends all over New Zealand, although she likes to point out that she is constantly “playing an ever diminishing role :-)” That’s because she focuses on “enabling fresh energy and commitment, with a view to renew the crew incrementally and maintain the event firmly on our local ecosystem’s calendar.” Pascale knows that the best way to help others is to teach them, and encourage them to help themselves. 

Pascale gets most passionate when talking about ventures that she has seen come out of Techstars Startup Weekend, or that she has been able to help through Venture Centre, such as SeeSpray and CLOser. These are both ventures that solve social problems—the founder of SeeSpray was concerned about the pesticides being sprayed on a neighboring orchard when her kids were playing outside, and CLOser tackles affordable housing and sustainable co-housing communities—and both, as Pascale notes, have “all female founders!” 

Pascale’s big goal is to help “create new ventures that do good for our people and our planet. I want to help this change happen faster.”

What’s Your Twitter Bio?

Go look at your own Twitter bio. Go ahead, do it. And take a moment to ask yourself if you’re being who you want to be, living the life that you show the world on social media. 

Pascale is. If you want to ask her how she does it, you can connect with her on Twitter, or meet her at Tauranga Startup Weekend_Sustainable Development Goals edition, coming up on 30 August 2019.








Community Leader Spotlight: Kristopher Riley

Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you?

I’m a creative problem solver and servant-leader. My name is Kristopher Riley, born and raised on the East Coast, educated in the Midwest and now expanding my career here in the Bay Area. Getting to the West Coast has been an interesting combination of many different (often unexpected) roads—and every one has taught me powerful lessons, each step of the way. The first step was working in the hospitality industry during college, where I learned two very powerful lessons: patience and integrity. These two defining aspects of my character created the necessary foundation to grow my personal self and my entrepreneurial career.  

I got my first bite from the entrepreneurial bug at college, when I co-founded my first company, called Hype Dance. The process of starting Hype was difficult at best, but my co-founder and I managed our way through it. Today, Hype is at four different schools. It’s the longest running hip hop dance team in the Midwest.

My second and more profound “bite” was attending my first Techstars Startup Weekend in Philadelphia, almost six years ago now. Seeing the support of the community and other like-minded people caused me to look back at my days starting Hype, and wonder what that would have been with a support system like the one I saw at Techstars Startup Weekend.

I asked myself, “How do I solve this problem for other young founders?”

My mom always said, “It’s not a problem if it doesn’t have a solution.” This turned out to be an easy one—I joined Startup Weekend as an Organizer. Learning about the history of the organization, the global support system, and just the raw love of community gave me a new purpose and a great opportunity to give back.

Over the next six years I not only became a Techstars Startup Weekend Facilitator—the next level of responsibility up from Organizer—I also grew tremendously in my career. I’m now Head of Business Development for PayStand, a fast growing startup in the South Bay. The community gave me the confidence to start the founder journey again, and now I’m working with a handful of friends and bootstrapping two ideas: a mobile-first, automotive CPQ system that helps mechanics to drive business and manage customer engagements, called Oxivi; and a voice-first service allowing consumers to call a ride hailing service without the need of a smartphone, called Rotary Rider.

Why do you do what you do?

My why is simple—doing this gives me energy to be an example.

This energy is hard to explain with words. It happens when I’m able to help people get to that “a-ha moment” in their entrepreneur journey. It happens during the process of helping them build their startup and solidify their business model. It even happens when someone makes a career move because an event like Techstars Startup Weekend has opened their eyes to something they never knew they loved so much.

This moment is something I hold onto and mentally give to my younger self. I didn’t have people that looked like me in this space doing the things that I, my colleagues, and other community members are doing right now. I want to help younger black and brown aspiring founders to see the startup world (and the larger tech industry) as something that’s well within their reach.

This is the second part of my why—being an example to those who don’t have one. Reminding them that while success isn’t guaranteed, there is an active, excited community here to support their unique perspectives, ideas, and growth in so many amazing ways.

What’s new for the Bay Area?

What’s new for the Bay Area besides the Social Impact Startup Weekend on April 5th at Menlo College? Let me think 🙂 There’s a lot of new energy from the team at Techstars as they start to wrap their arms tighter around the larger Bay Area startup scene. So much is happening around the world when it comes to new technology centers: Silicon Alley (New York, New York), Silicon Fen (Cambridge, England), Silicon Wadi (Tel Aviv, Israel) and so many more. We’re leaders here in the Bay, and like all great leaders we need to step back out in front into the new and unknown. Combining the energy from new Techstars Startup Weekend Organizers with other startup community groups in the area—shoutout to Startup East Bay and The Hidden Genius Project—I’m positive 2020 and beyond will be more than just new, it’ll be news.

What’s a piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring entrepreneur?

Keep going. Keep failing. Ask for help. Give help to others. You’ll find success and happiness in the most unexpected but absolutely wonderful places.

Final remarks?

I’m a consummate networker. If you’re a growing startup or entrepreneur looking for introductions or keen to learn what first steps you can take, please reach out to me on LinkedIn. Furthermore, the great thing about working at PayStand is that my CEO is a true believer in entrepreneurship. Because of that I get to empower software startups with a new way to facilitate payments that also drives net new revenue for them, helping to continue their growth and success. If you’re interested in learning more, please connect with me on LinkedIn as well!

Techstars Startup Weekend can be transformative! In just 54 hours, experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup. Find one near you.








Community Leader Spotlight – Stephanie Bermudez

Meet Stephanie Bermudez from Nogales:

I’m a bi-national economic developer. I help people develop innovation spaces, create better strategies for their businesses, and I specialize in digital communication. I am from the border of the U.S. and Mexico. I was raised in Nogales, the only city that is divided by two countries. When I was younger it was easier to exist on both sides, both Nogales US and Nogales Mexico. I grew up as a cowgirl on a ranch, with livestock, I was a barrel racer and my dad was a roper. I was everything a Mexican-American living in the south could be.

Why do you do what you do?

I decided to lean into my passions. This is what I love and ultimately this is something I recognize that I’m good at and allows me to live with purpose and make an impact. There’s also a social and spiritual side to helping people, specifically people that are disadvantaged in the light of our culture today. I’m here to amplify our voice and love being around ideas that break down barriers to create change. If I can make an impact on community through systems that change people’s mentality then I am fulfilled. It’s also my passion to inspire others to be their best. It not only makes me feel good but I think it’s the right thing to do.

What’s new for Nogales/Tucson?

Last December through Startup Unidos we did the first bi-national Startup Weekend. We’re continuing to expand these programs and further integrate everything we’re doing to bridge connections across borders. There’s amazing things happening in Hermosillo, Phoenix, Tucson, Nogales, and this is changing the narrative around what’s possible.

Final remarks?

We need to continue to do more to empower women, youth, and introduce technology to improve people’s lives. In the space we operate in we recognize problems as opportunities, not the end of the world. This platform is perfect for fostering growth and we’re not stopping here!

 








Nuestros líderes de Comunidad en Sevilla, España

Siguiendo la crisis financiera de 2007 -08, la economía española entró en recesión, y en un ciclo de desarrollo negativo macroeconómico. Esto impactó la manera cómo era visto el emprendimiento en diferentes ciudades alrededor del país, especialmente aquellas que siempre fueron muy tradicionales. Tuve la oportunidad de hablar con Jaime Aranda Serralbo acerca del crecimiento de la comunidad de emprendimiento de Sevilla y su camino como líder de comunidad.

 

Nacido en Córdoba, pero establecido en Sevilla desde hace muchos años, Jaime ha sido uno de los principales catalizador del movimiento de emprendimiento en esa ciudad. Junto con otro participante de Startup Weekend Córdoba en Diciembre de 2012, fue el primero en llevar Startup Weekend a Sevilla en mayo del 2013. Esta acción– que fue después de abrir un espacio de co-working y ser organizador de más de 120 eventos– fue el inicio de la comunidad, que al día de hoy tiene el record de organización del Startup Weekend más grande de España.

De la recolección de datos que ha hecho, Jaime me cuenta que hay 8 startups y alrededor de 160 trabajos que se han generado gracias a esta comunidad de emprendimiento. Ahora, 3 años después de ese punto inicial, la comunidad de Sevilla, ha creado una organización sin ánimo de lucro que busca apoyar el emprendimiento y la inversión pública y privada en la ciudad, llamada Sevilla UP; con Jaime como su presidente. El objetivo principal de esta organización es ser un foro abierto a la innovación, la colaboración y las ideas que tengan sus socios y participantes.

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El primer Startup Weekend, que sucedió en Mayo del 2013, tuvo alrededor de 45 participantes. De ahí se movieron a 160 en el evento organizado durante Global Startup Weekend en 2014. En ese momento, el director de Techstars para Europa, el Medio Oriente y Africa, José Iglesias, sugirió al equipo organizador, hacer eventos verticalizados. En 2015, durante Global Startup Battle de ese año, hicieron su primer evento enfocado en gastronomía y comida, al cual asistieron 50 participantes.

Este año, tendrán la tercera edición de ese tema en Marzo, la segunda enfocada en aeroespacial y la primera enfocada en educación.

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Jaime, quien es emprendedor serial, piensa que en el 2017 después de la crisis y con el ecosistema emprendedor de Sevilla creciendo, las startups tendrán más madurez y serán capaces de crear profesionales dentro de sus equipos, proveyendo experiencias invaluables a sus empleados y al mismo tiempo dando valor a la sociedad y el mercado español. 








Community Leader Spotlight: Arturo Guizar

In memory of our dear friend Carole Granade, director, president, mother and wife. We will make sure that the entrepreneurial flame never dies in Lyon.


My name is Arturo Guizar, I am from Mexico City but I live in Lyon, France for almost 10 years. Since then, I have been traveling around the world but I always come back to Lyon.

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What do you do when you are not wearing your Community Leader cape?

I consider myself as a hound and a hustler, two terms I learned from the startup culture. I use these terms to describe my two backgrounds as young scientist (hound) and entrepreneur (hustler). I did my PhD on wearable technologies at the CITI Lab, a joint Inria-INSA laboratory devoted to do research in the telecom sector. I am also co-cofounder of a non-profit organization BeyondLab which aims to connect the research and entrepreneur communities to create strong collaborations and democratise the discoveries of science to turn them into innovative projects. For that, we organise events and build scientific/business communities to reduce the cultural gap. My job here is to help on the community building and find money to continue growing. Since our first event in Grenoble, two years ago, we organised more than 50 events across France, from Lille to Marseille, and worldwide too, in Tokyo, Lausanne and Barcelona. We have worked with local partners, such as EPFL, Inria, CEA, The Family, Kic InnoEnergy, EDF, Withings and more.

For us, Startup Weekend has been a big inspiration, as well as Brad Feld’s philosophy about Startup Communities. We want to continue creating transdisciplinary hubs around the world to help scientist to find entrepreneurs and go beyond the lab.

When did you get involved with Startup Weekend?

The first time I heard about Startup Weekend was in 2011 when I was trying to create my first startup, but I missed the opportunity to participate in Lyon. At that time, I didn’t know it was an international community and I waited a whole year for the next event in Lyon. So, my first SW was on November 2012 in a vertical (SW OpenLabs which now is called SW Science) where scientists pitch their ideas and then, we work with them during the weekend to create startups using technologies coming from research.

This experience was so crazy, I learned a lot, especially about organization, team management and the importance of having a complementary team for the innovation process. I loved so much the concept of startup communities (thanks to Bernabé Chumpitazi), so I wanted to learn more about it and build our own for scientists/entrepreneurs. After that, I started organizing in Lyon (2013) and then facilitating in France (2014).

Startup Weekend inspired me to create BeyondLab (with Xavier Blot and Raphaël Meyer) in Lyon and Grenoble. But now, it’s becoming worldwide.

What is your favorite thing about Startup Weekend and the community?

Transdisciplinarity, international dimension and the fun. I’ve been involved in this community for almost 4 years and I got the opportunity to meet people from everywhere sharing the same values about community, economy and innovation. I also love to see passionate people trying to help their local ecosystem and I always learn something new by listening their background, everyone has an interesting history to tell

What is the funniest thing that you have witnessed and/or experienced with your team?

Each Startup Weekend is different, I have seen many funny and amazing things. But on the last two weeks (during the Global Startup Weekend), I saw for the first time a connected community without frontiers in real time. I connected with many communities using appear.in from Bolivia to US and even Australia. I found always someone to have a chat with and share moments/experience. That’s how we came with the idea to make the Mannequin Challenge during the GSW, it was fun and magical.

What are your bold plans for the future of your community?  

In Lyon, we believe that Startup Weekend is the perfect way to create strong communities for the local economy. The last time we organized a horizontal Startup Weekend was in 2014. Since then, there is always a theme (Science, Food, Makers, Women, MedTech, …). And for each one of them, we have a different team that shares the same passion for that vertical. As a result, we build multiple communities that continue doing things to keep growing our local ecosystem. For instance, the MedTech team also created a new community called Exponential Medicine that organized meetings and Hackathons to improve our healthcare system, find new solutions for pathologies, and more. Nonetheless, they continue organizing other Startup Weekends and we are waiting for the next SW MedTech.  

So, we try to create these ad hoc communities using team building and community chat sessions (every first Monday of each month). The next step is to create more community leaders and increase our local family. But also, we are open to help neighbor cities to create their own.

If you want to become a Techstars Startup Program organiser, go to techstars.com for more information.








Community Leader Spotlight: Rayanny Nunes

Brazil CLEu sou co-fundadora da startup Klipbox e All Bugdet, uma apaixonada por empreendedorismo e por organizar eventos nessa área, fomentando comunidades e empoderando pessoas no meu país.

Meu primeiro Startup Weekend como participante foi em 2013 em Recife, uma experiência transformadora e que marcou para sempre minha jornada empreendedora. Me apaixonei completamente pelo evento, pelo propósito e pela comunidade que estávamos construindo. Então, em 2014 organizei duas edições em Natal e participei do primeiro Statup Weekend Women do Brasil em João Pessoa. Ainda nesse ano, fui convidada para mentorar o Startup Weekend Campina Grande.

Definitivamente o Startup Weekend fazia (faz) parte da minha vida, em 2015  fui convidada para mentorar em outros eventos e  participei de mais 5 edições como mentora e voluntária, organizei mais uma edição em Natal e entrei pro time de facilitadores do Brasil.  

No Summit, pude conhecer outras líderes de comunidade do país, nos unimos para organizar um Startup Weekend Women simultâneo, foram cinco eventos realizados em cidades de quatro regiões e que impactou mais de 600 pessoas, você poderá encontrar alguns dados aqui.

O Startup Weekend Women é uma paixão ainda maior, a causa me atrai e meu desejo é que cada vez mais tenhamos mais mulheres  no movimento empreendedor. Assumi a liderança desse movimento e me orgulho muito do trabalho incrível que nossas líderes vem realizando em suas comunidades. Após esse movimento, aumentamos a participação de mulheres em mais de 20% nos eventos do Startup Weekend.  

SW Women /brazil

Depois de realizar o maior Startup Weekend Women do mundo, nós resolvemos aumentar o desafio para 2016 e impactar ainda mais participantes. Estamos realizando nove edições em diferentes cidades do país (Recife, Florianópolis, Belém, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, São Paulo, Natal e Manaus), tive o prazer de facilitar dois desses eventos (Recife e Florianópolis) e contribuir com a construção dos demais.

Hoje estou participando de um programa de aceleração focado em fundadoras mulheres no Chile (The S Factory), os aprendizados, habilidades, desafios e as conexões que o Startup Weekend me proporcionaram, contribuíram muito para essa conquista.

Os planos para 2017 incluem o desafio de impactar mais pessoas e levar o SW Women para outras cidades do país, sonhamos com 15 cidades, assim seguimos ampliando as conexões e participação das mulheres na tecnologia e no empreendedorismo. O desafio é grande, mas estamos preparadas!

Linkedin: https://br.linkedin.com/in/rayannynunes








Community leader Spotlight: Mike Michalec, Bangkok (Thailand)

1.When did you get involved with Startup Weekend?

My very first exposure to the Startup Weekend community was way back in 2012 in Bangkok when I was working for a startup. Two of our team members were asked to mentor at Startup Weekend so I tagged along to see what all the hype was about and I’ve been hooked ever since contributing most recently the past few years as an organizer, facilitator, mentor, and judge.  

  1. What do you do when you are not wearing your Community Leader cape?

I’m a consultant in the international development sector so I’ve been fortunate enough to contribute to a lot of impactful social and economic development projects throughout the world that influence things like climate finance, education budgeting, literacy, disaster preparation, innovation, etc. Most of my work is for organizations like UNESCO, UNICEF, or USAID contractors but I also occasionally work for corporate clients. I don’t really have a lot of free time but when there is I like to get away from congested places and hike for as long as my legs will let me! There’s some great treks within our region like Chiang Dao in northern Thailand, Rinjani in Lombok, and pretty much anything in Nepal is awesome. I’m also a big fan of black and white photography and have a website with my work over the years, bwphotography.org

  1. What are your bold plans for the future of your community?

That’s the million dollar question! I think about this everyday and to be honest the plans are constantly being refined as the regional edtech ecosystem and community evolves. As we engage the community we’re always finding new ways to bring value to stakeholders and catalyze growth in the edtech sector either through events, capacity building, research, product, programs, data, etc. Startup Weekend definitely plays a big role in this as we’re keen to keep introducing new groups of people throughout the region to entrepreneurship with the intent to solve problems and improve education outcomes. There are so many unique opportunities to have positive impact by empowering others, creating employment, and transforming education, it’s an exciting time in Asia and we’re quite happy to be here helping to make some of these changes happen.  

Connect with Mike on LinkedIn or follow his endeavours on Facebook.

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Community Leader Spotlight: Andrei Cosmin

From Timisoara, Romania, Andrei shares with us his experience as Community Leader in Europe.
Andrei Cosmin

What do you do when you are not wearing your Community Leader cape?

I’m a geek 🙂 I work full time as a Software Test Engineer at a big automotive company. Besides the techie side there’s of course the community part where there’s enthusiasm from the community to help organise tech & startup events.

Oh, and we’re also working on opening a co-working space.

When did you get involved with Startup Weekend?

I first heard about Startup Weekend in 2013. The 1st edition of Startup Weekend Timisoara was about to take place, so I bought a ticket the rest was history. It was an amazing experience: I got to learn a lot from the event, made friends and from that point on I was hooked.

I jumped to help the local organizing team prepare the 2nd edition of SWTimisoara where I got a chance to learn what happens behind the curtains. It got me even more enthusiastic and I decided to lead the organising team for a great 3rd edition of SWTimisoara.

This just got me even more excited about the entire SW movement. I wanted to be a facilitator to get to see how things are happening in other entrepreneurial communities across Europe. In 2015 I became a Global Facilitator and since then I have facilitated a bunch of great events across Europe.

If I had to summarize it all: amazing, energetic, roller coaster of awesomeness.

What is the funniest thing that you have witnessed and/or experienced with your team?

Organizing Startup Weekends is as much of a roller coaster ride as participating in an event.

There are so many funny / crazy & amazing things happening at Startup Weekends – helium balloons, Batman and Superman cupcakes as mentors, cards against humanity SW, Nerf guns, VR corners to name a few!

One thing I want to mention here and for sure it’s the most important thing (coming back to being serious): there’s always an amazing team behind each Startup Weekend event. In Timisoara there’s a great team which has evolved from event to event and they’re THE BEST!

What are your bold plans for the future of your community?  

Our community in Timisoara has potential to grow a lot when it comes to the entrepreneurial spirit. There’s a lot to learn and there’s a lot of potential.

We’re striving to direct that drive of the community in a direction while also offering the framework that the ecosystem needs to flourish and grow.

Organizing events and having the community to meet up is one way we plan on growing. Together we’re stronger & better.








Community Spotlight: Maaike van der Post, Netherlands

Every month, we do a Community Leader Highlight in Europe. For October, we had the chance to ask Maaike, from the Netherlands, about her Startup Weekend involvement. This is what she said.

 

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I work part-time as a graphic designer at Kr8werk. Besides that I am the founder of the startups Baguru and Surprise Dinner and I organize events that are all startup (community) related.

My first Startup Weekend as a participant was in 2013 in Groningen. Wout Laban and Matthijs Menses convinced me to join that edition. I was still a student and one of my biggest fears was pitching. The next year Nick Stevens convinced me to grab the microphone, and I did! My project got enough votes and at the end of the weekend we won the second price. After this edition, I was hooked. In 2014 I participated in three Startup Weekends in Groningen and Amsterdam. Baguru and Surprise Dinner are still on their way to become real companies, I just had to find the right people to get them off the ground. And I found them!

After participating in five Startup Weekends it was time for me to join the organizing team. Last year I was the lead organizer of Startup Weekend Groningen together with David Hamoen. It was a great experience and I was able to work on my own skills and at the same time inspire and connect others. I really like the way startup weekend can make a change in the participants’ mindset.

That is also why a mini-startup weekend with kids is so valuable. It is important to show them that you don’t need to come from a wealthy family or join the highest education to become a successful entrepreneur. In the end, everyone can create their own future.

There are also smaller cities where there is no startup community yet. With Startup Weekend we can create a spark and make a real difference. Our community in the North of the Netherlands will make its next big step by introducing Startup Weekend Friesland. The challenge is to spread the Startup Weekend mentality and grow a community that spans across the several small cities in the province.

We expect that this will be a very different challenge compared to the one in Groningen, but it will be awesome!

Connect with Maaike on LinkedIn and follow Startup Weekend Groningen on Facebook.