5 tips going into Startup Weekend

The June edition was my first experience with Startup Weekend Dublin and it was worth my while as you can find in my daily recaps here, here, and here.

It’s great to be back this time as a co-organizer working along side a team that allowed me develop both an idea and myself under 54 hours. So in retrospects, here are 5 tips I’d like to share with you going into the weekend to start something amazing.


1. Be open to new ideas

My favourite ideas pitched at the last Startup Weekend where those that were thought up during the weekend, so be open to coming up with and listening to people with new ideas. It’s definitely easier to have a new team excited about an idea they all chipped in to form than another just one person brings to the table with an attempt to get a buy-in from others.


2. Be friendly and get talking

Smile. Walk around. Say hello to people. The weekend is meant for more of collaboration than competition. Get talking to other people, volunteers, organizers, the photographer, and the chef. They may just be the future customers that will validate your idea or give that priceless feedback. Everything to gain and nothing to lose by being friendly.


3. Leave the building

I cannot stress this enough. Get out of the building and get talking to prospective customers. If possible go ahead and make a sale. One thing you want to get out of Startup Weekend is to validate your idea and business model. So spend a good time having customer interviews. Call people up for feedback  and cold call to make sale if need be.


4. Network with mentors

These folks are industry leaders, technical superstars, business gurus, growth hackers, and more – and they will be hanging out with you all weekend. Use them! I remember last Startup Weekend when just a 2 minute conversation with a mentor cracked open the code on our business model.

5. And most importantly, have fun

No matter what happens this weekend. Don’t forget to have fun. Work hard but play harder. Don’t go running home and missing out on after-drinks. Take a break, ride the seesaw and try the gaming console. There’s also a #swdubselfie competition so don’t miss out on that.

That’s all for now. Follow @swdub on twitter and vine and share your experience with the hashtag #swdub.

Startup Weekend Volos: Yiannis Giokas as a Speaker!


Yiannis is a serial entrepreneur with over 7 years’ experience in the High-Tech and Security Industries. Prior founding Crypteia Networks, he has been active in the fields of Telecommunications, Network Optimization and Security enabling Telecom Operators to optimize their networks, expand their added value services and enhance their customers’ experience. He holds a B.Sc. in Electronics Engineering and an M.B.A. from Athens University of Economics & Business.

Startup Weekend Volos: Start Tech Ventures is also our Sponsor!

start tech ventures

StartTech Ventures is the investment & incubation arm of the Materializing Innovation Group, having three divisions: Seed Fund, Incubator and Business Angel Network. StartTech capitalizes the experience gained out of starting Virtual Trip, the first successful student start-up in Greece, spinning out more than 10 high-tech companies via investing 4.5 MEur and creating a next generation start-up accelerator via introducing the “Entrepreneurial Ecosystem” concept.

Startup Weekend Volos: Frenzy Projects is coming with prizes


 Frenzy Projects will provide to one of the 3 best teams business branding and support for a year!


Web Design
Interior Design
Mobile Applications

Startup Weekend Volos: think.gr is here with prizes!!!

new logo think 72dpi ok


 think.gr ΑΕ  will provide the winner’s team with their web page, also support and hosting in their servers for a year and domain name for 2 years!!!


Startup Weekend Volos: The Association of Industries in Thessaly and in Central Greece (AITCG)



The Association of Industries in Thessaly and in Central Greece (AITCG) is a Legal non-profit Entity operating under Private Law and covering the Regions of Thessaly and Central Greece.


AITCG was established in 1966 in Volos, and within the limits of its responsibility includes the geographic regions of Thessaly and of Central Greece.


Its members may be industrial and handicraft firms in many sectors such as food and beverages, mineral material, wood and furniture, basic metals, textile, chemicals, machinery, renewable energy systems etc., and enterprises providing legal, financial and consultancy services to SMEs, that operate under private-economic criteria.



Startup Weekend Volos: Alexandros Keramidas as a Mentor

alex keramidas



With bachelors on Industrial Management & Technology and Computer Science , Alexandros Keramidas, started early on (the year 2001) his entrepreneurship career in the fields of industrial packaging and the textile industry, later expanding to the fields of SaaS engineering, Web and Mobile applications development.

His fields of experience concern the wider area of the above fields, so you can seek advice from him regarding software development, packaging, industrial production and business management.


Startup Weekend Volos: Ioanna Elabd as a Mentor



Ioanna Elabd is the heart of Wabi & Sabi, Inc., a brand architecture and strategy consulting agency based in NYC. She is driven by her passion to help people turn their vision into market share and their potential into sustained profitable growth, splitting her time between NY and Greece.

A resourceful matchmaker and a planner by nature, she leverages a global network and her innate ability to reveal and unlock opportunity, to provide businesses the right tools, resources, and partners they need to succeed. Known for her hands-on approach, a holistic methodology, and novel solutions, she is a trendsetter with a knack for seeing and making connections others miss.

Ioanna started out as a Cornell University architecture graduate, but a twist of fate led her from building structures to building brands. Over the past 15+ years she has devised comprehensive marketing communications strategies and developed projects for clients ranging from individuals to fortune 500 companies. Her client list includes Noowit, Canela, Heliou, Filion, Ertuğrul Ateş, MotionX, Curtiss Wright, Ralph Lauren, NBC, the Travel Channel, SONY, IBM, MTV, VH1, Shiseido, Sara Lee, DOVE, Tag Heuer, Dolphin Capital Investors, and GEK – TERNA.

Her philosophy is simple ‘brands are people and people are brands’. Whether it’s a new and exciting startup, in need of launching and market penetration, an established SME looking to develop and expand, or even a municipality in need of reinventing itself, her projects tend to garner international press; such as The New York Times (Sunday Styles), Paper, WWD, NY Post (Page Six), Village Voice, Amsterdam News, India Times, E! Entertainment, Fashion TV, Rás2-Iceland, Search Engine Journal, LIFE, Epoch Times, Life & Style, Ozon magazine, Athens Voice, Kathimerini, Proto Thema to name a few.

Ioanna works only on projects and products she believes in, and is dedicated to promoting new talent every chance she gets. She insists that engagement and interactivity are key ―that optimism is vital― and that authenticity and collaboration are everything.

Experience it all firsthand at www.wabiandsabi.com.

Startup Weekends are…

Startup Weekends are 54­hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non­technical entrepreneurs. The weekend events are centered on action, innovation, and education. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through testing, business model development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos to a panel of potential investors and local entrepreneurs.  Participants are challenged with building functional startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like­minded individuals outside of their daily networks.


Who you’ll meet at Startup Weekend:

Startup Weekends attendees’ backgrounds are roughly

● 50% technical (developers, coders, designers)

● 50% business (marketing, finance, law).


Why people come to Startup Weekend:  

29% of Startup Weekend participants attend an event to network,

20% attend to develop/build a product

13% attend to learn how to create a new venture.


After the conference is over, roughly 80% of attendees plan on continuing to work on their

startup after the weekend.


What you’ll get out of the event: 

1. Education: Startup Weekends are all about learning by doing, whether you’re learning a new skill or a new way of thinking.  Don’t just listen to theory, build your own strategy and test it as you go.

2. Co­Founder Dating: The people who come to Startup Weekend are serious about learning how to build and launch startups.  Create relationships that last long past the weekend.

3. Have fun: During the weekend working alongside awesome people who share your ideas. Startup Weekend is meant to be fun and entertaining so enjoy it.

4. Solve local problems with your ideas. Do you think that one of your idea can change your town or have a positive impact in your group of people? Bring your idea notebook with you and start making a positive change in your local community.

5. Build Your Network: Startup Weekend works hard to recruit high quality, driven entrepreneurs­ like you!

6. Learn New Skills: With a whole weekend dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Startup Weekends are perfect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or give marketing a try.  With nothing to lose there’s no reason not to step outside your comfort zone.

7. Learn How to Launch a Business (and Actually Do It!): Startup Weekend is the epitome of Lean Startup Methodology.

8. Mentorship: Local tech and startup leaders participate in Startup Weekends and give feedback to participants. Interact with the movers and shakers in your community.

9. Get Access to Valuable Startup Resources: By participating in Startup Weekend you are given instant access to great products and tools. No one leaves Startup Weekend empty handed! Click here to learn more about some of the offers our Global Sponsors provide during the event.

10. Save Money: Startup Weekends are affordable (typically $99, only $50 for students).  Your ticket includes seven meals, snacks, and all the coffee you can drink.

Join our community!

We’re a non­profit on a mission! Startup Weekend has hosted events in countries all over the world. Join us!

Startup Weekend Dakar : Les 10 projets en concours

C’est parti  ! L’édition 2014 du Dakar Startup weekend a été lancé hier.

Comme prévu,  l’école Sup’IMax qui héberge l’évènement entrepreneurial a reçu du monde. Plus d’une centaine de participants étaient présents dans  la salle.

La cérémonie d’ouverture a été lancée par le Facilitateur du Startup Weekend Hermann Kouassi. Dans son intervention, il a rappelé le programme de l’événement avant de délivrer les outils et méthodes de travail aux participants. On a eu à voir dans sa présentation des conseils pour faire un bon pitch, qui ont vraiment porté leurs fruits.

Après le passage du Facilitateur, on a eu à voir passer près d’une trentaine de porteurs de projets, qui en une minute chacun ont délivré leur message. Les interventions furent clôturées par le Speaker Bagoré Bathily, entrepreneur social et fondateur de la Laiterie du Berger, une société qui a eu 2,5 milliards de recettes en 2014. Il était accompagné par Karim Sy, fondateur de Jokkolabs, principal partenaire de l’évènement.

Dix projets ont été finalement retenus :

  • Radar Health, une application pour la gestion des pharmacies de garde et services sanitaires porté Bocar Sy
  • GIMAX, une web TV portée par Arona Sow
  • e-Menu, porté par Raynatou Djibo, qui offre une Informatisation des menus de restaurant
  • Mzigo, porté par Walter NGOUAM, qui propose l’installation de bornes de recharges
  • BDE (Banque des étudiant), porté Sokhna AIDARA NIANG
  • SamaLove, porté par Ibrahima KANE, un site de rencontre
  • Ndougalma, porté  par KHADY DIOP, qui fait du ravitaillement pour la famille
  • Keep in touch, porté par MATAR CISSE, qui une application de rencontre basée sur la reconnaissance faciale
  • e-Recrutement, porté par ABDOUL DIALLO, une plateforme qui propose des CV vidéos
  • Plant Viewer, porté par CHEIKH AHMADOU BAMBA FALL, une application mobile pour reconnaitre les plantes.

Le Startup Weekend Dakar participe au hashtag Battle dans le cadre du Global Startup Battle  qui regroupe toutes les villes qui organisent un startup weekend en même temps que Dakar. L’objectif est d’avoir le plus grand nombre de tweets comportant le hashtag officiel de la ville ( #swdakar pour la capitale sénégalaise ) et celui du Global Startup Battle #GSB2014. Alors soutenez Dakar, tweetez en utilisant les deux hashtags cités plus haut.