Making it Happen at Startup Weekend

1fb2ab918e50a6c5614b867e84298250Hear all that buzzing and building? It’s the rise of the Makers! Startup Weekend Maker Edition is where attendees build all kind of things. These events show that startups are more than apps and software – they can be devices, wearables….even robots! Maker events are the 4th most popular edition during Editions Month this May. Startup Weekend Paris Makers said this about the rising number of these events and attendees: “The movement of Makers is primarily a community of people brought together by values ​​and beliefs. They experiment to build and learn. They do not imagine – they create.”

Last weekend, we had 3 Maker events happen in Paris, Brussels, and Qingdao. This week we checked in with the teams to see the highlights and outcomes of their Startup Weekends. Check out the photos & videos below to see what makes a Maker event unique (hint: machines!)


click through to view all photos

Some Startup Weekend love from around the world!

Build a Pokemon, why not?  

A little drill action!

Making things glow…


Inspired to get to a Startup Weekend Maker event? Check out the Editions Month events, or all Startup Weekends happening near you.

Editions Month Spotlight: Detroit Social Impact

The city of Detroit was once the center of entrepreneurship in the United States. Before our current days of Silicon Valley and software companies galore, Detroit gained worldwide recognition by starting a different type of industry – the automotive industry.


The Ford Motor Company was founded in Detroit by Henry Ford in 1903, coining the city’s nickname of the “Motor City.” The Ford Motor Company would go on to become one of the largest and most profitable companies in the world, as well as being one of the few large companies to survive the Great Depression later in the 1930’s.

Fast forward through years of building the auto empire and becoming a top US city, Detroit found itself facing issues feared by all entrepreneurs: financial downfall. In March of 2013, governor Rick Snyder declared a financial emergency for the city. A few months later in July of 2013, Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy case in the history of the United States.


But just like any strong entrepreneur should, Detroit began rebuilding itself. It suffered through major PR issues against its image and felt the loss of confidence from residents. But the city kept pushing on. One year later, Detroit successfully left bankruptcy and had regained full control of finances in December of 2014.

Detroit’s entrepreneurial journey shows what it’s like to rise to the top, fall to rock bottom, and still get right back up and prove everyone wrong. Today, we are proud to have a strong and active UP Global community in Detroit. This May, they’ll be celebrating Editions Month by showing what its residents are passionate about and well-versed in: social impact through entrepreneurship. See below for what the Startup Weekend Detroit organizers have to say about their upcoming event and read their awesome story behind it.


Organizing team members:
Grace Montero
Chelsea Smallish
Nicole Mangis
Brandon Chesnutt (Facilitator)

What are you most excited about for your upcoming event?

Detroit has a rich entrepreneurial spirit. As a Detroit community we have a chance to truly leverage that spirit to benefit our City and beyond. By giving entrepreneurs tools-in-hand, such as Startup Weekends, we are nurturing that entrepreneurial nature. We all win by helping businesses to make more informed and conscious choices because we all benefit from a vibrant, diverse, and resilient business ecosystem.

What makes this Edition interesting?

As an organizer I have seen many Friday night pitches, and in most cases the ideas that are pitched have a community-oriented or do-good component – without the pitcher really embracing or leveraging that. This edition gives entrepreneurs the freedom, occasion, and resources to play with what it takes to launch a successful social enterprise: one that simultaneously makes money and makes a positive impact.

Any extra things making this event special?

We are encouraging participants to bring a nonperishable food item with them at any point over the weekend to donate to the Gleaners Food Hub which is located on site of the event.

Read the Organizers’ story behind this event:

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10 Awesome Things I'm Going to Do While Facilitating Startup Weekend Miami Diversity

To close out UP Global’s Editions Month campaign, I’ll be hosting a diversity edition of Startup Weekend in Miami. To be held at VentureHive, one of Miami’s top startup accelerators, this event is lead by Paula Celestino, a previous Startup Weekend Tampa winner who co-founded KlosetKarma from her experience, an app that monetizes your wardrobe.

While this is not my first time in the glorious state of Florida, this is my first time in Miami, which means I’ll be full of regret if I do not accomplish the following.

1. Take a photo of myself wearing pastel colors.

miami men's fashion

I prefer to wear darker tones (black, grey, blue, etc.) – and this will not do in sunny south Florida. Fortunately Miami is one of the fashion capitals of the world, so I should be in good hands.

2. Find a proper place to “get jiggy with it.”


Yes, like to most of you, Will Smith is pretty much the cultural ambassador of Miami to the rest of the country. My goal is to find out exactly what he was talking about in that video so many years ago. Also, I now feel super old.

3. Eat the best Cuban sandwich I can find.


This is all Jon Favreau’s fault. I had my first Cuban ever… in Seattle. I can only presume that somewhere in Miami will patronize that experience … by welcoming me as their patron… perhaps serving it with some Patron?


4. Try to look somewhat sexy through salsa dancing.


Of all the items on this list, I am the most confident in accomplishing this one.

5. Jump sideways while pretending to fire two guns in air.


The ish is gonna get REAL.

6. Find some Heat merchandise for my brother-in-law.


For reasons I do not understand, my Filipino brother really likes the Miami Heat. I’ll have to get him a Wade jersey to help him through the tough times.

7. See if I look good walking around South Beach in a speedo.


Of all the items on this list, this is the one I am least confident in accomplishing.

8. Learn some Spanish. After all, this is America.


During my brief time in UP Global, I worked with an amazing bilingual team and wish I could communicate with them on their level. I only learned how to laugh. Jajaja.

9. “Seriously, Paula. We’re going dancing, right?”


I will start a dance party AT the event if I have to. Speaking of which…

10. Inspire a new community of Miamians into the startup life.

Of course, the greatest thrill of all is to pass on the experiences that I had at Startup Weekend to a new community. I am especially proud to be a part of an event that’s emphasizing diversity and openness – one of the fundamental tenets of UP Global is “radical inclusion,” where everyone should have a chance to experience what’s it like to be an entrepreneur.

Just a few weeks away. I can’t wait to get this show started!

Lee Ngo, Facilitator
Startup Weekend Miami Diversity

Lee Ngo is an UP Global community leader based in Pittsburgh, PA.

Week 2 of Editions Month 2015

em2015Last weekend we kicked off Editions Month – a month long celebration of Community Leaders’ work around the world and using Startup Weekend in new industries, themes, and audiences. This weekend Community Leaders will continue with more events and editions.

This weekend Editions Month events are happening in 5 different countries, highlighting 3 different editions, with a real showing from the Makers! Check out these events:


Finance – Copenhagen, Denmark

Maker – Brussels, Belgium

Maker – Paris, France

Maker – Qingdao, China

Small Business – Fort Lauderdale, USA



Editions Month Spotlight: Recife Education

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Startup Weekend EDU events are made specially for teachers, designers, techies, parents, entrepreneurs, students, and anyone who wants to contribute their ideas and skills to improve education. These events are a popular edition of Startup Weekend all year long, but also during Editions Month, as it’s the 3rd most popular theme during our month-long initiative! Education Entrepreneurs focuses on this mission of leveraging entrepreneurship to shape the future of education.

Recife, Brazil is spending their next Startup Weekend event focusing on education and tackling issues and ideas associated with it. Find out more about their efforts in the questions below and by watching their Editions Month story:

Organizing team members:
Raoni Valadares
Luiza Barbalho
Jorge Wanderley
Edson Luiz
Flora Lins
Tâmara Xavier

What are you most excited about for your upcoming event?

We are excited to see how the attendees can solve our education problems. We have so many things to change in our education system, that gives us a huge space to create new ideas. Also, the mix of professionals is a great way to do this and think outside the box.

What makes this Edition interesting?

We have a lot of problems with education in Brazil and we can’t just wait for the solutions, we need to create them ourselves. So we see the event as a great opportunity for this. By nature, our region has people with valuable skills that want to help others. We want to bring these people to Startup Weekend, so they can join the team spirit and know that they can solve a problem if everybody believes in it and does their part.

It’s also more than this one event, we are promoting bootcamps in universities and we are showing to the students and professors a new way to solve the education problems. All the actions that we are doing will make a great impact in the future, and we are showing others that they, too, can make a huge impact even with small steps.

What motivates Startup Weekend Recife: EDU?

Part of the world problems are created by people, and part of the solutions are, too. We are trying to show this to participants and encouraging them to be part of the solution. In all editions of Startup Weekend in our city, we learn this: get out of the box and do something, don’t wait for it.

Check out the team’s story about this event!

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Presenting the 2015 Editions Month Story Contest Winners

This year we launched our inaugural Editions Month – an initiative created in response to the growing organic demand from the community to bring the magic of Startup Weekend to new industries and audiences. During the whole month of May, Organizers will be holding events all around the world in different themes, from Maker to Neuroscience!

As a part of this new initiative, we asked Community Leaders to share the story behind their May Edition event. We wanted to know things like: How will the event impact their community? What new audiences are they reaching? Why did they choose their theme?

We received stories from events in 11 different countries, highlighting industries, cities, and audiences. These stories show the pride and passion that drive our Community Leaders, and that it’s much more than organizing an event – it’s building a community.

We’re proud to share the 10 winners and the stories behind their Editions Month events! Be sure to also check out the full list of entries in the online showcase!


10. Think Outside the Kitchen – by Startup Weekend Lyon: Food

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9. Loosing the Tie – by Startup Weekend Mexico City: Finance

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8. You Say You Want a Revolution – by Startup Weekend Tulsa: Energy

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7.  Startups 4 Growing Communities – by Startup Weekend Tablelands: Rural Innovation

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6. Using Startup Weekend to Build Entrepreneurial Communities in Regional Centers – by Startup Weekend Toowoomba: EDU

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5. The Makers Powered Tech Industry – by Startup Weekend Paris: Maker

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4. Sometimes Failing is Winning – by Startup Weekend Miami: Diversity

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3. SHE Bangalore – by Startup Weekend Bangalore: Women

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2. Social Innovation to Reclaim Bengaluru! – by Startup Weekend Bangalore: Social

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1. The Forgotten Dream – by Startup Weekend San Francisco: Immigration

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 Congratulations to all the winners! Check out all entries on the showcase page:

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Editions Month Spotlight: Tampa Bay Youth


Exploring different themes of Startup Weekend doesn’t always mean reaching a new industry or vertical. In this case, it means reaching a new age. Youth events are aimed at 5th-8th graders and are similar to a normal Startup Weekend, but some things are changed up just for the kids. Organizers create an atmosphere of exercises and experiences that will inspire the young minds and help them learn how to move those ideas forward towards action, and in the process, collaborate with their peers.

Youth events are fun to watch and it’s pretty inspiring to see all the kids doing work, collaborating, and bringing ideas to life. This event will only be the second of its type in Tampa Bay, yet the community and local businesses have already shown great support for the initiative and the impact it has on the local youth. We talked with Organizer Nicholas Catania about their upcoming event and what they’re looking forward to most.

tampa4Organizing team members:

Nicholas Catania
Deborah Neff
Ryan Sullivan
Allison Barkley
Chelsea Palmer
Gracie Stemmer
Michael LaPlante

What are you most excited about for your upcoming event?

We’re most excited for our local community members coaching our “youthpreneurs” through the entrepreneurial process as they learn the ins and outs of starting a business.

What makes this Edition interesting?

This edition is different because it focuses on crafting the young minds and their limitless possibilities of creativity. We have seen firsthand how an entrepreneur at this age can think up mind blowing ideas. A major part of this comes from the fact that we allow them the creative outlet to do so. Another part comes from the ability for youth to have no boundaries. This is what makes the event so interesting.

Check out the team’s story about this event!

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Editions Month Spotlight: Tablelands Rural Innovation

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Tablelands, Australia held its first ever Startup Weekend over the first weekend of Editions Month! The theme of the event was Rural Innovation – the only of its type during the month of May. This is a unique Edition that matches the needs of their region and community. We caught up with the organizing team afterwards to see how everything went. For more background on their event and why they chose this it, check out their awesome story. You can also follow along with updates on their Facebook page.

The Tablelands Organizing team:
Bronwyn Voyce
George Corea
Christine Doan
Nicole Van Beunigen
Scott Fittler
Karlie Milne

What were the highlights of your event?

tablelands1We had a number of firsts at our event! It was the first ever Startup Weekend in the Tablelands (the size of Tasmania but with a population of just 45,000, of which 67% are working age). We started the weekend by hearing from Steve Baxter from Shark Tank Australia, who is from rural Queensland and has a passion for turning small ideas into big business. “Owning a bunch of small businesses can be like having a bunch of stubbed toes,” Steve said, acknowledging the hard work it takes to run small businesses and encouraging participants to aim high and dream big.

Some other interesting facts about our attendees:

  • We had a participant who travelled about 1000km to attend (from Mackay).
  • Our demographic age was well above the average for an event like this: our average age was 43, youngest 17 and oldest 75, with 14 participants born before 1970.

The pitches on Friday ranged from apps for meeting like-minded people, to hardware for reducing farm injuries. The final winner of the weekend, Fresh2U, designed an online marketplace for distributing the vast amount of fresh produce that goes to waste on farms all over Australia. Their pitch hit all the key elements that our Rural Innovation Edition hoped to: emerging tech, agriculture, reducing waste, reducing transport, and helping to improve efficiencies.


What makes this Edition unique?

Rural areas like Tablelands have small populations yet a large geographic location – causing challenges not seen in many other regions and bigger cities. This is a key issue that makes us very different from the average Startup Weekend community.

Also, our audience doesn’t have many technical people or those that are tech savvy. One team that was trying to create opportunities in the art community needed a lot of help just sending survey emails and creating a basic presentation.

The impact of the event can be summed up in this quote from an attendee: “I learned more over the weekend about starting up a company than I have in 12 months of study. Absolutely wonderful, rich and empowering weekend.”


Week 1 of Editions Month 2015



Today kicks off Editions Month – a month long celebration of Community Leaders’ work around the world and using Startup Weekend in new industries, themes and audiences.

This weekend events are happening in 6 different countries, highlighting 10 different editions. Check out these events:


Women – La Paz, Bolivia

Food & Farm – Charlottetown, Canada

Tourism – Gold Coast, Australia

EDU – Oklahoma City, USA

B2B – Portland, USA

Maker – Quebec City, Canada

Women – San Diego, USA

Spanish & Latino Markets – Seattle, USA 

UNI – Southhampton, UK

Rural Innovation – Tablelands, Australia

Energy – Tulsa, USA

UNI – Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia


Top 10 Startup Weekend Themes in Editions Month 2015


In our previous Editions Month blog post, we showcased the unique events and locations happening around the world in May. Next we’ll take a look at the top Editions featured at events during Editions Month. These Top 10 are the most popular Editions happening in May, out of the over 40 total themes, industries and audiences being transformed.

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10. Health

These events focus on the healthcare industries and the many levels and ways it can impact people from emergency services to insurance providers. Over the years entrepreneurs have jumped into new industries to disrupt this industry even more with innovations such as healthcare tracking apps and wearables.

Health & Wellness – Easton, USA

Health & Medical Technology – Bothell, USA

Health & Fitness – Chicago, USA


9. Finance

The finance industry is a complex but very important industry. From personal finance to corporate banking, the possibilities for entrepreneurs are endless. These type of Startup Weekend events look to innovate the finance industry by bringing in new technologies, coining the term FinTech.

Finance – Copenhagen, Denmark

FinTech – Hyderabad, India

FinTech – Mexico City, Mexico


8. Youth

Startup Weekend Youth Edition is specially designed for the next generation’s entrepreneurs, 5th–8th graders. The event format is similar to a normal Startup Weekend, but some things are changed up just for the kids. Organizers create an atmosphere of exercises and experiences that will inspire the young minds and help them learn how to move those ideas forward towards action, and in the process, collaborate with their peers. Parents are also invited to join in on the fun.

Youth – Cali, Colombia

Youth – Tampa Bay, USA

Youth – Toronto, Canada

Youth – Oakland, USA


7. Food

These events are focused on something everyone can get excited about: food! They’re innovating the culinary world ranging from consumer apps to industry-wide solutions. There are even some events combining of food editions with complimentary industries like tourism, farming, and gastronomy (studying food and culture, with a particular focus on a region’s cuisine).

Food & Farm – Charlottetown, Canada

Food – Lyon, France

Tourism & Gastronomy – Sevilla, Spain

Wine, Gastronomy & Tourism – Bordeaux, France


6. Social Impact

Social Edition events focus on ideas that help and impact not only their local regional and social issues, but the world as a whole. These events have popped up over the years with the increase of social entrepreneurship and the growth of companies like TOMS and Charity Water. Some examples of startups in this space are Thread and Embrace.

Impact – Washington, DC, USA

Social Enterprise & Impact – Detroit, USA

Social Innovation – Bangalore, India

Social Innovation – Tehran, Iran

Social Business – Dunkerque, France

Change Makers – Teresina, Brazil


5. Tourism / Travel

Vacations are wonderful, but traveling can be stressful. These events are focusing on new ideas to improve the travel industry and improving experiences for tourists. The locations of some of the events makes them especially unique as they are hotspots for travel.

Tourism – Gold Coast, Australia

Tourism & Hospitality – Cairns, Australia

Tourism and Cultural Heritage – Tirana, Albania

Tourism & Gastronomy – Sevilla, Spain

Wine, Gastronomy & Tourism – Bordeaux, France

Travel – Bogota, Colombia


4. Maker / Devices

It’s the rise of the makers! Startups are more than apps and software. Wearables, connected devices, and new smart products are filling the market and our homes. Now thanks to organizations like TechShop and Kickstarter, anyone can begin building their next big idea. These Startup Weekend events run just like any other, but they are busy building physical products and prototypes.

Maker – Quebec City, Canada

Maker – Brussels, Belgium

Maker – Paris, France

Maker – Qingdao, China

Connected Devices – Denver, USA

Internet of Things (IoT) – Buenos Aires, Argentina


3. EDU

Have you ever had an idea for improving education? Startup Weekend EDU events are made just for that! These events are for teachers, designers, techies, parents, entrepreneurs, students, and anyone who wants to contribute their ideas and skills to improve education. Check out Education Entrepreneurs to learn more about these programs and others using entrepreneurship to improve education.

EDU – Sacramento, USA

EDU – Pachuca, Mexico

EDU – Oklahoma City, USA

EDU – Somiedo, Spain

EDU – Toowoomba, Australia

EDU – Recife, Brazil

EDU – Florianópolis, Brazil

EDU – Los Angeles, USA


2. UNI

University events are just what they seem – Startup Weekend held at universities with students. These students get an extra dose of learning from their usual curriculum as they work to build a company all weekend.

UNI – Masjedsoleyman, Iran

UNI – Sincelejo, Colombia

UNI – Bamenda, Cameroon

UNI – Southhampton, UK

UNI – Juliaca, Peru

UNI – Porto, Portugal

UNI – Cuernavaca, Mexico

UNI/High School – Los Angeles, USA

UNI – Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia


1. Women / Girls

Here we are at our top featured event in Editions Month! Women’s Edition events follow the traditional Startup Weekend format and agenda, but are organized by women, and have a majority of female attendees and mentors. Male guests are welcome and are a critical factor, as it helps increase real-world collaboration and diversity. For more information on these events and their mission, check out this blog post.

Startup Girls – Seattle, USA

Women – La Paz, Bolivia

Women – Pristina, Kosovo

Women – Bengaluru, India

Women – Bogotá, Colombia

Women – Cincinnati, USA

Women – Dallas, USA

Women – León, Mexico

Women – San Diego, USA

Women – Johannesburg, South Africa