How To Conquer the Emotional Rollercoaster of Startup Weekend

After 9 Startup Weekends in three years, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life (in fact, I’ve written previously that I might be addicted to it). However, for some that the journey could be really intense at times, and not everyone makes it to the finish line feeling the same way.

Recently, I facilitated Startup Weekend Miami: Diversity Edition, where I was taught the concept of “la pasión,” which is Spanish for “people in Miami are really, REALLY emotional.” I was tasked to harness la pasión in a community that had a plethora of it, in a way that would make everyone come away from Startup Weekend Miami feeling as wonderful as I had 8 times before.

Below is a list of lessons and tips for a facilitator, organizer, or volunteer to apply that would help maintain a sense of stability to an otherwise potentially chaotic event.

1. If you’re an organizer or volunteer, your mission is to execute the event as orderly as possible

In Startup Weekend, Murphy’s Law generally applies – anything that can go wrong will go wrong. It is vital that every organizer and volunteer is informed of the weekend’s tasks and can easily communicate with one another to correct any situation that arises.

Otherwise… this will happen…

Best practice: Print up a universal task list that specifies each delegation and giving a copy to all your volunteers. That way, even if they don’t have an assignment, they can look at the list to see if someone else needs help with something.

2. If you’re the facilitator, your first priority is to take care of the lead organizer

I got your back, Paula.

Generally, lead organizers shoulder the most burden, and the stress can be overwhelming. They should be acknowledged especially for their months of hard work leading up to the big show.

E Pluribus Unum, people.

Facilitators should check in with them hourly and make sure they’re fed, hydrated, and as relaxed as you can get them. If necessary, give them a hug (more on that later).

That'll do, senorita. That'll do.
That’ll do, senorita. That’ll do.

3. Communicate to people on their level – perhaps even in their language

Startup Weekend is an educational event at its core, and the most effective way to teach is to contextualize it with abstract reasoning that they understand. Learn more about them to understand their thinking processes.

Just being honest here.
Just being honest here.

An added challenge for me: most of the attendees of Startup Weekend Miami speak Spanish as their first language. I do not – except for what I’ve learned on TV –  so when people weren’t looking, I’d review my Dora The Explorer Lessons on YouTube and bust that out randomly. You’re welcome, mi amigo/as.

4. If teams are arguing without end, facilitate a scrum

Inevitably, disagreements occur in a competition, but they become difficult to resolve when people are not talking in a respectful, orderly fashion.

This was not that far off from the truth.
This almost happened at the event. More on that later.

To resolve this, get them to stand up and talk in a circle, one at a time. Here’s a quick video to teach you how to run a proper scrum – a very popular method of coordinating large, diverse teams.

(The key lesson starts at 6:32)

I did this with one team in particular. More on that later.

5. Have a quiet space – one for volunteers, one for participants

"Let me answer that question once I'm done with this Tweet."
“Let me answer that question once I’m done with this Tweet.”

We all need to decompress, so give your people a place to rest, nap, socialize, and blow off some steam. Don’t go so far as create a distracting place such as a game session – you still want people to focus on on the main goal.

6. Throw in a dance session or two (you’ll have to start it)

I'm going to regret this once people stop listening to "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars.
I’m going to regret this once people stop listening to “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars.

It was a foregone conclusion that I’d be dancing in Miami. It was just a matter of how often. I like to keep the music playing in a common area for attendees to come out, relax, and practice their salsa.

It is possible to have more rhythm than a native Argentinian, apparently.
It is possible to have more rhythm than a native Argentinian, apparently.

Dancing is a great way to stay loose and relaxed, and it’s probably less terrifying than, say, public speaking.

7. Prevent “hanger” by providing snacks and insist that everyone drink water frequently

Startup Weekend is a high-energy competition, and with brains working on overdrive, they’ll need to be replenished. I try to have a bottle of water and a protein-rich snack on my person at all times. Keep your people well-fed, and they’ll be well-tempered, too.

8. Give out hugs and high-fives whenever possible

Paula could not stop hugging me. I do not blame her.
Paula could not stop hugging me. I do not blame her.

I’m a big fan of Simon Sinek‘s recent work Leaders Eat Last, where he describes the importance of establishing physical contact to build relationships and trust among people.

At a hyper-networking event like Startup Weekend, these physical embraces lead to lasting connections that you’ll appreciate long after this experience.

9. Plan to finish your event as soon as possible…

This crowd will turn on you otherwise.
This crowd will turn on you otherwise.

Things might get delayed, so try to move as quickly. Here are a few tips I’ve learned while facilitating for NYC and Orlando:

  • Links only: Instead of letting people present and demo on their own laptops with varying file types, have them send cloud-based links to both and put them in a single document. This moves things along quickly in between Q&A sessions.
  • 4:3 presentation model: Limit presentations to 4 minutes with a loose 3 minutes for judges’ Q&A works well, too. Judges average about 45 seconds per question, so a group of 3-5 judges works well.

Why do we do this?

10. … so that everyone will go to the after-party

Yay! We did it! exha *0981231
Yay! We did it! (exhales…)

I love the idea of an after-party, but often Startup Weekends run too late, and who can really stick around to party on a Sunday night? However, if you aim to end your event around 8pm or earlier, and your event was a rousing success, you’ll have a great time.

Also, try to have ALL of your parties in Miami, regardless of your own location. Here’s why:

We got a pool!
We got a pool!
A bouncy castle for adults!
A photo booth!
A photo booth!

However, despite all of these tips, I should say that there needs to be some room for la pasión in a Startup Weekend. For example:

When a team that nearly imploded on Saturday night…

Team BreakinBread was a fun project for me. Constantly bickering in Spanish over every single detail, I was positive that they would implode and disband by Saturday night.

Serial entrepreneur and LiveAnswer CEO Adam Boalt guides a team of future entrepreneurs.
Serial entrepreneur and LiveAnswer CEO Adam Boalt guides a team of future entrepreneurs.

To fix this, I made them do a scrum. By getting them to talk in turn and truly listen to one another, they realized that they were actually a well-rounded team that agreed on one thing: they had communication problems.

What a difference a day makes!
What a difference a day makes!

Afterwards, they delivered a beautiful presentation that impressed the judges. The rest is Startup Weekend Miami history: they won first place.

Or when a team that won 2nd place got a standing ovation…

Team HandyCab
Team HandyCab

Meet Ernie.

Ernie struggles to get where he needs to be due to the lack of convenient transportation options for the disabled. His dedicated friend Juan pitched an idea:

Not too shabby! By Adam Leonard of Happy Fun Corp.
Not too shabby! Artwork by Adam Leonard of Happy Fun Corp.

An “Uber for the differently-abled,” Juan wanted Ernie to have access to the ride-sharing technologies that dominate the startup marketplace today (e.g. Uber and Lyft). They found great validation by tapping into people’s good nature – an uncommon approach for a Startup Weekend team.

Once I announced their second place win, Ernie stood up and made his way to the main stage. With every step, more and more people rose with him and applauded his victory with deafening cheers of support.

Diversity includes everyone. EVERYONE.
Diversity includes everyone. EVERYONE.

When Ernie took the microphone to say how happy he was to have made the difficult trip to attend Startup Weekend, I was indeed full of la pasión as well (i.e. TEARS OF JOY.)

Or when I could not stop smiling when I was presented with this amazing certificate


The text reads:
“A special recognition for surviving your
Let all who view this document know you survived Miami. We are diverse, speak at the same time and have a rollercoaster of emotions, but at the end of the day, we’re all family and end the night laughing with J’s (JAJAJAJA). You rock!”

Perhaps I had been a bit of a curmudgeon the whole time…

Yeah, I can be a bit.... yeah.
Yeah, I can be a bit…. yeah.

I was deeply moved by the relentless love I received towards the organizers, who should be named (in no particular order): Paula Celestino, Pia Celestino, Ryan Amsel, Gaby Castelao, and Anas Benadel.

Hey, sponsors! We love you!
Hey, SW Miami sponsors! We love you!

In short, Startup Weekend is indeed a roller coaster (it’s designed that way), but for a small minority, that can be an unpleasant experience. Emotions are meant to run high, but there are ways to keep it balanced yet still exciting.

I hope these suggestions serve as a way to hold someone’s hand to make them feel safe right before they take the deep plunge into entrepreneurship.

Good luck, and thank you, Startup Weekend Miami: Diversity Edition!

Lee Ngo is a community leader based out of Pittsburgh, PA.

Pitch Like a Girl



The Sunday night audience of the recent Startup Weekend Seattle Girls event was different than the usual crowd. It was full of parents, young siblings, and community members beaming with pride and excitement to see the girls’ final demos. This was the final day of a Startup Weekend created just for girls ages 10-15. The event was held at Lake Washington Girls Middle School, and was a first of its kind event focused on young women and showing them the possibilities of Startup Weekend and the world of entrepreneurship.

After the final pitches got started, it was clear how hard they all worked over the weekend. The presentations went smoothly and each girl on each team spoke about a different part of their new app or website. And did I mention how excited the parents were? A Dad’s celebration scream almost scared me right out of my seat when he found out his daughter’s team won!

One of my favorite parts of the day was when the girls were asked, “what did you learn over the weekend?” Their responses were all things I wish I had learned in middle school:

  • revenue streams
  • teamwork
  • task management
  • working under time pressure
  • how to build a website

While the event was wrapping up and the girls were celebrating, I got the opportunity to speak to a parent of one of the attendees, Jeff Sprung of Seattle. One of the awesome parts of Editions Month is hearing from new audiences and demographics – so I wanted to hear his story behind his daughter being involved and hear a parent’s perspective on events like this:

I asked about the motivation behind signing their daughter up for Startup Weekend Girls. It’s a strong message and inspiration for more events like this to happen:

“What’s still holding women back from reaching the very highest levels of professional America today are stereotypes and expectations. These limitations will continue to erode, and Startup Girls propels that erosion. As parents of a girl, we try to kickstart this change by teaching our daughter to reject stereotypes and expectations about who’s in charge and who can be in charge, to take risks and fail and get up and be willing to take risks again, to get in the face of people who deny her opportunity. Giving our daughter the opportunity to learn from experts how to start up a company fits this philosophy perfectly.”

Events with young ages like this need parental support. I talked to him about why experiences like this are important for girls from the parents’ point of view:

“Our economy, our government, and our communities benefit from the unique contributions women make. We want to teach our daughter that she can achieve whatever she wants, and whatever her male classmates can achieve. Given that women in our country earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man, we still have a lot of work to do. I think Startup Girls can be part of the solution.”

Overall, the weekend went well and we’re thrilled to hear about learning new skills:

“My daughter worked hard and intensely to achieve what she and her team did over the weekend. This resulted in impressive accomplishments:  a great concept, financial modeling, a website, an app. I think it was eye-opening for her to see the incredibly hard work that goes into starting a new company. My wife and I were blown away by what these middle schools girls could accomplish over a weekend. We were particularly impressed by this generation’s adeptness with technology and new software applications. It far exceeds the skills of their parents’ generation!”



Here are the final teams from the weekend, great job everyone!

1st place – Warefair

An app to guide customers to clothing retailers that practice ethical and sustainable business choices.

2nd place – Chore Hub

Helping connect neighbors through exchanging chores, easy solution to finding help for the chores you dislike!

3rd place – Monster Cupcakes

An app and website to create custom cupcakes and have them delivered to your door, pick out the flavor, frosting, decorations, etc!

Most Passionate – Pit Souls

A website dedicated to changing the people’s perception of pitbull dogs, inspired by one of the team member’s own dog.

Most Ambitious – Open Door

A website aimed at helping the homeless get back on their feet with a network of resources available online and in their local community.


For more information on this event and the organizing team, please visit:

Interested in organizing a Startup Weekend for Girls or Youth? Learn more about bringing it to your community.



Startup Weekend Latino and Hispanic Markets: Goals, Lessons & Future Plans

latinoOrganizing a Startup Weekend can mean different things to an organizer: a chance to build a network and make connections, a way to be a part of a fun and transformational experience, or even a way to promote entrepreneurship in a community.

One of the reasons I organize Startup Weekend is because it represents a way to build and shape the community around me. In my most recent event, I was part of a team taking a small step toward making Seattle a place to celebrate Latino cultures in the local entrepreneurial community.

Seattle is a wonderful, intelligent, and passionate city. I’ve been involved in the Startup Weekend community here in some form or another for the last few years, and I noticed some things:

  • The people I was seeing at the events were generally from the same demographic.
  • There was an opportunity to spread entrepreneurship to neighborhoods and cultures beyond the downtown urban core.

If you aren’t from Seattle, you should know that our city is reasonably sized, but much of the entrepreneurial energy and support is concentrated near the downtown core. There are various cultures in other parts of Seattle that don’t enjoy the same energy and whose stories we don’t hear regularly.

That isn’t to say that there aren’t efforts to engage other communities and social groups in our city. In September 2014, we saw an incredible Hack the CD event to engage the African American community in the Central District, but we should be doing more.

A few other organizers and attendees I had met through various events realized we had something in common: we all loved our city, we loved entrepreneurship, and we loved our shared Latino heritage.

This gave rise to the idea that became Seattle’s first Startup Weekend Latino and Hispanic Markets event. In this post I’ll share our goals, lessons we learned along the way, and what plans we have for engaging diversity in entrepreneurship in Seattle.


Vision and Goals for Startup Weekend Latino

Creating an event to highlight a culture is an interesting prospect. Entrepreneurship cuts across cultures, beliefs, and opinions in a way that is incredibly powerful. We wanted to celebrate a culture that means so much to us, as well as invite others to experience it.

We decided our event would be special and distinct from any other Startup Weekend in 3 ways:

  • Latino Entrepreneurs would feel welcomed in a way they may not have felt before
  • We would share our culture with those who had no connection to Latino cultures, giving them a chance to experience and consider another culture as they build their ideas
  • We would create a space for the Latino community to share and celebrate its culture in the context of entrepreneurship

We designed our event to celebrate and share fun parts of our Latino cultures. This included things like:

  • Salsa contest for pitch order
  • Inviting smaller Seattle Latino restaurants to the event to feed our attendees
  • Having parts of the event in Spanish, or providing translation help where needed
  • Latino music throughout the weekend

We also sought to include representatives from the Seattle startup community across cultures and industries. In addition to our standard partners from the Seattle Startup Weekend community, we reached out to Latino cultures to find sponsors, mentors, and judges. Ultimately, we wanted people to come away knowing there is a thriving Latino community in Seattle interested in the success of its entrepreneurs.

Lessons Learned

Organizing a unique Startup Weekend event means encountering new situations. Here is what we learned.

Diversity is Exciting and Fun!

My favorite part of the event was just how many cultures and nationalities were represented there. Beyond North, Central, and South American Spanish-speaking countries, we had attendees representing Asian, European, and African cultures. This was a delightful opportunity to experience entrepreneurship with new friends and faces. More importantly, we saw that an event dedicated to celebrating other cultures was interesting to so many people.

Marketing and Messaging

We knew at the start of the event that we’d have to be careful with our messaging and marketing to be clear that the entire community was invited to participate. Success would look like balancing a specific culture focus with an open invitation to all of Seattle. The clarity in messaging also makes an impact on how judges and coaches formed their expectations. We used language like “All Are Welcome” in event promotions, and emphasized our goals to all people involved in the event. However, this is an area we want to improve upon for next year.

Meals and Catering

We committed to partnering with local Latino restaurants for all our meals. This resulted in amazing meals throughout the entire weekend, but it was actually quite difficult to find smaller businesses that had the capacity and experience to cater for a Startup Weekend event. Moreover, we should have realized that having an event so close to Cinco de Mayo would limit our selection of available restaurants.

Engaging Existing Latino Groups

There are plenty of Latino organizations around Seattle, but we didn’t know who they were when we were planning and marketing our event. Frankly, this is just a symptom of this being a nascent effort. We expect we’ll build on this momentum to build a more cohesive network of communities within our city.

Plans for the Future

As most Startup Weekend events do, this was a great starting point upon which we can continue to build. We intend to build more connections to other groups and create more opportunities to engage as a community. With the small cohort of attendees from our event, we can create more connections and strengthen our ties.

The best part is that we’re not alone in this. Portland will host its own Startup Weekend Latino event in June, and we have been interacting and supporting each other as organizing teams.

Hopefully, by this time next year, we will have a groundswell of momentum that we can showcase in another Startup Weekend Latino event. In the meantime, you can follow along and get involved in the following places:


Final Week of Editions Month 2015

This weekend is our 5th and final weekend of the inaugural Editions Month! And we’re going out strong! This weekend is the busiest of all with Startup Weekends happening in 14 different countries – from Canada to Japan, and 17 different themes – from Connected Devices to Gastronomy! We’re so excited to see the last of our Editions Month events happen, and still have plenty of awesome stories to share with you! Check out these events below and stay tuned for highlights and recaps from the first Startup Weekend Editions Month.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 9.44.43 PM


Blue Growth, Shipping & Logistics – Piraeus, Greece

Connected Devices IoT – Denver, USA

Diversity – Miami, USA

FinTech – Mexico City, Mexico

Food Edition – Lyon, France

Immigration – San Francisco, USA

Industrial – Belo Horizonte, Brasil

Local Business Vitalization – Tokyo, Japan

mGov – Amman, Jordan

Social Enterprise/Impact – Detroit, USA

Social Innovation – Bangalore, India

Tourism & Hospitality – Cairns, Australia

Tourism and Cultural Heritage – Tirana, Albania

Travel – Bogotá, Colombia

Tourism & Gastronomy – Sevilla, Spain

UNI – Sincelejo, Colombia

UNI – Cuernavaca, Mexico

Urban Mobility – São Paulo, Brasil

Women – Bangalore, India

Women – Johannesburg, South Africa

Women – Dallas, USA

Women – Cincinnati, USA

Youth – Toronto, Canada

Youth – Oakland, USA



Editions Month Spotlight: SHE Bangalore

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 11.39.46 AMAt UP Global we believe every person has the opportunity to experience and become an entrepreneur. In all we do, we practice radical inclusion to help build and grow this open world of entrepreneurship for everyone.

Editions Month is all about this inclusion by exploring undiscovered topics, industries, and giving audiences a chance to experience entrepreneurship firsthand. A great example of this is the Startup Weekend Women events organized by women for female entrepreneurs in their community. We first launched this edition of Startup Weekend last year and have seen tremendous efforts by women around the world organizing these events. During the month of May for Editions Month, Women & Girls events were the most popular edition being held!

In this post we go to Bangalore, India to take a look at their upcoming Women’s event. Be sure to also check out their inspiring story about improving the life of women in their community and how entrepreneurship can help.

Organizing team members:
Pavan Kumar
Anupama Prakash
Swathi Parasuraman
Ruche Mittal

What are you most excited about for your upcoming event?

What we look forward to the most in holding an event such as this is the prospect of enabling women entrepreneurs to actively work together towards a common goal, exchange ideas based on their experience and generally be a part of something that will contribute to increasing their confidence and drive in the entrepreneurial world.

It is a collective effort where all of our organizing team is coming together to make this happen. In a way, we are also empowered by a sense of unity in our journey to make this Startup Weekend a success. We are excited to how these women nurture over the course of three days and what they take away with them at the end.

What makes this Edition special for your community?

Our SHE Bangalore edition of Startup Weekend is a special one where we are trying to dig out the brilliant but unknown women entrepreneurs of Bangalore city, a city already famed for its startup culture being number one in India. When such a conducive environment for the setting up of start ups is already in place and rapidly growing day by day, we feel that it is high time more women jump onto this bandwagon and showcase their successes. We want to give these women a playground of sorts to exercise their entrepreneurial faculties which is the essence of SHE Bangalore.

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 12.51.29 PM


Me gusta viajar.

Tiendo a sumar a esa frase de 3 palabras, algunas otras como: me gusta aprender idiomas, me gusta probar nueva comida, me gusta ir a los lugares que los turistas dejan de lado; vaya, bien podría decir que me gusta estar en todos lados menos encerrada en casa. Casa, palabra que adquiere muchos significados cuando en menos de 1 año se ha vivido en 3 países y viajado a otros tantos.

Pero no solo veo el lado romántico de viajar: empacar, volar, llegar a una nueva ciudad, descubrirla, enamorarse de ella, decir adiós. Todo suena increíble, y podría casi pasar por alto el hecho de que algunas veces, viajar, llegar a una nueva ciudad, descubrirla y decir adiós puede convertirse en una verdadera pesadilla por causas ajenas a nosotros: documentar maletas, check ins online, check ins en ventanilla, vuelos retrasados o cancelados, filas enormes, aeropuertos caóticos, servicios de transporte que dejan mucho que desear, encontrar hospedaje triple B (Bueno, Bonito y Barato). Si bien al día de hoy existen aplicaciones y/o servicios online que nos han simplificado la vida (bastante), aún hay muchas dolencias por resolver en la industria de los viajes.

Es por eso que cuando me invitaron a facilitar el Startup Weekend Bogotá: Travel Edition, no lo pensé dos veces. ¿Un fin de semana donde diseñadores, programadores y hustlers se reunirán para solucionar problemas relacionados con viajes y viajeros? Si, por favor. 

Soy parte de Startup Weekend desde 2012 cuando organicé mi primer evento en Villahermosa, Tabasco y posteriormente fui aceptada como facilitadora. En estos casi 3 años he visitado diferentes países gracias a Startup Weekend, como mentora, facilitadora e incluso juez en un evento de emprendimiento global; viajar se ha vuelto una actividad tan normal que ya no me pesa ni me preocupa, y me ha pasado de todo (literal).

Aunque viajar sea una aventura y algo que disfruto, estoy consciente de que aún hay muchas formas en las que se puede revolucionar la forma en la que lo hacemos o la forma en que conseguimos hacerlo. ¿Porqué seguimos necesitando usar tickets impresos? ¿Porqué necesito confirmar dos veces mi asiento en un vuelo? ¿Porqué no puedo usar Paypal o Bitcoin en más sitios de reservaciones de hoteles, vuelos y rentas de automóviles? ¿Cómo podemos mejorar procesos de documentación y abordaje? Es normal que mis preguntas sean orientadas a vuelos, es lo que mas hago, pero ¿qué hay de los miles de viajeros por tierra, que manejan su propio automóvil o rentan uno al llegar a un destino, los que utilizan ferrys o barcos? ¿Cómo la tecnología puede mejorar también sus experiencias? Y ojo, no solo se trata de las preguntas que surjan de nuestro lado (mi lado), los viajeros, ¿cómo pueden las aerolíneas, las compañías de autobuses, los hoteles y los restaurantes, ofrecer mejores experiencias a sus usuarios con ayuda de la tecnología?

De eso se trata Startup Weekend, de innovar en industrias que aunque parece ya han sido abordadas y saturadas con apps y sitios web, nuevas formas de comunicación, nuevos métodos de pago, todavía tienen a lot of room to grow; Startup Weekend se trata de tomar un problema, desmenuzarlo en unas pocas horas y ofrecer un producto mínimo adorable al final de las 54 horas.

Big difference, huh?

En Startup Weekend Bogotá: Travel Edition buscamos que se mejore la industria del turismo, de los vuelos, del hospedaje, de los alimentos; queremos que tú, si tú, te diviertas, aprendas, compartas con gente talentosa y hagas conexiones interesantes mientras solucionas algo relacionado con los problemas que mencioné antes, o quizás algo con lo que tu estés identificado(a), algo que a ti te duela, algo que tu hayas sufrido mientras te preparabas para ese viaje de graduación, o cuando te fuiste de vacaciones a aquel país del que no hablabas el idioma y en el hostal te robaron, cuando la aerolínea no envió tu maleta al destino final cuando tuviste 3 conexiones, o lo que padeciste cuando te enfermaste de algo que no puedes pronunciar mientras explorabas las cavernas de Vayaustéasaber y el servicio médico que ofrecía tu tarjeta nomás no funcionó (¡ay!, las letras chiquitas).

Si mamá, sigo en el aeropuerto.
Si mamá, sigo en el aeropuerto.

Aún si no te ha tocado pasar por una situación así, si tu talento puede dar vida a los proyectos que serán desarrollados ese fin de semana, entonces eres bienvenido(a) ¿no sabes programar, diseñar? No importa, todos podemos aportar algo, creéme, en mi primer Startup Weekend como participante me hice cargo de crear las cuentas de redes sociales, dar ideas para grabar un video relacionado con la web app que estábamos desarrollando, buscar el nombre para el proyecto y hacer una encuesta online. Incluso si tu excusa para no asistir es que no eres “tan buen” programador o “tan buen” diseñador, estás en un error. Hemos tenido participantes de 12 años que apenas están aprendiendo de la vida (deje usted si saben o no programar) pero que van con la disposición a aprender de otros, a recibir mentoría, a tener una mente abierta a nuevos conceptos, nuevas palabras y nuevas dinámicas de trabajo. Y eso es lo que queremos con tu participación. Que nos ayudes a cambiar la forma en que viajamos, la forma en que nos prestan servicios las industrias alrededor de esta actividad que el humano moderno lleva realizando por 65,000 años aproximadamente.

Ven y cambia tu mundo, el de alguien más, o todo, en un fin de semana.

Startup Weekend se trata de eso. 

Startup Weekend Bogotá: Travel Edition se realiza del 29 al 31 de mayo, para más información visita:

Week 4 of Editions Month 2015

Facebook_ProfileThis weekend begins Week 4 of Editions Month! We have a great collection of themes lined up around the world, totaling 9 different Editions in 8 countries! Check out these events below. Want to make it to an event near you before the end of the month? View these events and sign up today!


EDU – Florianópolis, Brazil

Fashion & Tech – San Juan, Puerto Rico

Green & Tech – Aix-Marseille, France

Home Business – Isfahan, Iran

Innovators – New Delhi, India

Mobile – Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Social Business – Dunkerque, France

Social Innovation – Tehran, Iran

Sports – Riga, Latvia

Women’s Edition – León, Mexico



Week 3 of Editions Month 2015


We’re halfway through Editions Month and things are starting to heat up! This weekend is a busy weekend through out the world with events happening in 10 different countries, focusing on 11 different Editions! Check out some of the cool things happening this weekend:

B2B – New York City, USA

Big Data – Torun, Poland

Social Impact – Teresina, Brazil

EDU – Toowoomba, Australia

EDU – Recife, Brazil

EDU – Somiedo, Spain

EDU – Sacramento, USA

Health & Medical Technology – Bothell, USA

Health & Fitness – Chicago, USA

IoT – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Mobile – Sofia, Bulgaria

Neuroscience – Tehran, Iran

Startup Girl (ages 11-18) – Seattle, USA

UNI – Masjedsoleyman, Iran

UNI – Juliaca, Peru

Wine, Gastronomy & Tourism – Bordeaux, France



Editions Month Spotlight: San Francisco Immigration

Where’s your family from? This popular conversation question is one we know exactly how to answer – perhaps you’d say half Italian and half Swiss, or maybe half Colombian with some German and French. Most of the time, depending on where you’re currently living, we’re actually talking about generations before us, which makes up our genes and how we identify ourselves today.

immigrants-and-libertyBut what about how people got there? For most Americans, our ancestors arrived years ago and we haven’t thought twice about it since. The United States is a nation built on immigration: between 1892 and 1924, 22 million immigrants entered the US through Ellis Island and the Port of New York. The United States continues to be a popular destination by attracting about 20% of the world’s international migrants, even as it represents less than 5% of the global population. Today, immigrants make up 13% of the overall U.S. population.

Immigration is often thought of as a taboo topic that’s left for politicians to figure out, or a frustrating topic left for job seekers to deal with on their own. However, it is something that has affected all of us, whether it’s in your family history or your current story. This is the very reason we should seek to find better laws and actions around it.


Immigration reform has been in the works with plenty of news coverage lately and over the years, which is way too much to get into for this blog post. But action on a local and community level is where big ideas can start and that’s the type of work we love to see. We’re so excited for the first-ever Startup Weekend Immigration to take place in San Francisco during Editions Month!

Not only is this a brand new edition of Startup Weekend happening, but the team’s story behind the event won first place in our recent Editions Month Story Contest! Their organizing team is made up of 6 first-generation immigrants and 2 second-generation immigrants, coming together to rally various industry members to tackle this issue head on. You can read more from them and about their upcoming event below.

Organizing team members & origin countries
Peter Shin – Korea
Armando Guereca – Mexico
Pulkit Agrawal – UK, India
Jessica Yen – Taiwan
David Silva – Colombia
Ria Carmin – Russia
Kate Lacey – Canada
Kripa Nithya – India

What is the motivation behind organizing this event?

None of the organizers knew each other before this event, and we all come from very different immigrant backgrounds, but we’re united in working towards a common goal – To create a more even playing field for immigrants.

And that is the same experience we hope to provide to the participants. Whether you and/or your family immigrated recently or many generations ago, whether you came here for work/study/family/refuge/asylum/etc., whether you’re documented or undocumented, whether you work in tech or or not, we want to emphasize to everyone that despite our differences, we as immigrants and Americans are all united by a common dream, and that is to work hard and take big risks in order to achieve a better life than the one we were born into.

What are you most excited about for your upcoming event?

Bringing together and uniting the immigration+tech community together in a way that’s never been done before. Not only will we be bringing together 125+ participants from all different nationalities, but they’ll have the chance to meet notable immigrant founders, immigration startup founders, investors, journalists, attorneys, and policy experts who are all deeply passionate about this issue.

There will also be a major educational component, which is often lacking in the national discourse around immigration. We will be kicking off the event on Friday evening with a speaker panel discussing the history and context of immigration in the US, and how the laws and system became so broken over the years.

What makes this Edition and event unique?

  • It’s the first-ever Immigration-themed Startup Weekend in the world

  • This is not a one-off event. It will be the first in a series which will not stop until solutions for many/all of the ideas in this blog post have become a reality

  • Courtesy of one of our judges: immigrant founder angel fund Unshackled – the winning teams will get a chance to skip the initial screening stage and pitch directly to a panel of Unshackled’s impressive network of investors, for a chance at up to 185k in seed funding.


Read the Organizers’ story behind this event:

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Editions Month Spotlight: Mexico City FinTech

“Due to spiraling inflation and widespread distrust in banks, many people in Argentina and Latam – still keep cash under their mattress. Add to this the stiff financial regulations in Latin America and the huge amount of paper money still in circulation there, and Latin America may seem like the last place for a financial innovation boom.” – Sara Lawson, Fast Company.

11183432_374512446089763_8928247120758509648_nThis is one of the many reasons Mexico City’s Team decided to host a Startup Weekend event focused on FinTech during Editions Month; to break the status quo and aim to help entrepreneurs from the city become pioneers who provide solutions to these type of problems around the region.

Having virtual mentoring during the event from Jason Henrichs, lead organizer in Chicago, and the attendance of Julián Abril, Innovation Coordinator from Grupo Aval, the team seeks to connect the Colombian and Mexican financial communities.

We talked with the organizers about their upcoming event and what they’re looking forward to most.

Organizing team members:
Pablo Prieto
Eder García
Marcela Zetina
Elizabeth Becerril

What are you most excited about for your upcoming event?

We are excited about discovering interesting and disruptive projects within the participants’ ideas.

What makes this Edition interesting?

Fintech startups and traditional financial institutions are supporting the event in order to generate a new panorama for the Latin american financial sector.


Check out the team’s story about this event!

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