Looking back at the Startup Weekend experience

By: Christoph Hartling, Lendy, the Winner of Startup Weekend Fall 2016

Startup Weekend Oulu Winner Lendy


It is almost exactly three months ago, when I made myself on the way to the city center of Oulu to participate in the Startup Weekend. Up to that point, I didn´t really know what was expecting me at the Startup Weekend Oulu, the only thing that was running through my mind was, that we somehow had to create a company within 54 hours!

When I arrived at the Business Kitchen venue, I was warmly welcomed and suddenly surrounded by dozens of young and likeminded people. Shortly after, the pitching started and I was impressed about the wide variety of different ideas, but also curious about how these ideas will develop during the Startup Weekend. After that, everything went really quick, we formed a team of four enthusiastic students and lost no time working on our business idea.

Even though, most of our team members had never participated in such a startup event before, we never felt lost or uncertain about our next steps. I can fairly say, that this was mainly through the great support of the Startup Weekend mentors.

In retrospect?

  • We got our own office space.
  • We launched our first website.
  • We found our first customers and early adopters.
  • We worked together and got supported by Finland’s biggest bank ─ OP Financial Group.
  • We went to Europe´s Leading Startup Event – Slush.

I guess answering the question, if it was worth participating at Startup Weekend Oulu is unnecessary, even if you have only read the last few sentences!

Five months later

By Marjaana Annala, Go Swap It, the Winner of Startup Weekend Oulu Spring 2016

Creating Go Swap It

Whenever someone asks me what Startup Weekend was like, I always have difficulties answering to it in a short way. To me, and I believe to many others as well, it meant a weekend where you totally step out of your comfort zone and do things you never thought were possible before. So how do you explain everything that happened, or everything that lead there, in a couple of sentences?

My best variable so far is this.

After a lot of pondering, I went there with an innocent idea that was a result of a 3-minute conversation with a friend a few months earlier (“Hey you know what would be cool?” “Oh yes that WOULD be cool!”) but no actual clue of what I should do with it. Truth be told, I still had no idea what I was going to do when I got there. To pitch or to not pitch my idea? I was extremely scared of even the mere idea of that.

I also did not have any idea of what I should do during the weekend – or how to do any of the things I should do. Complicated, huh? But shortly after I arrived I realized that it is perfectly fine, because on top of unlimited coffee and food, what was offered was unlimited support.

So I guess what happened was that a bunch of genius minds got together, were inspired by the same idea, joined forces and started working. No talk, all action, they said. And it truly was just that. All you really need to do is stop thinking, roll up your sleeves and start working.

Five months later?
I have my own company with the same awesome people I met at Startup Weekend.
I have pretty much my dream job.
I also have at least some kind of an idea what I’m doing.
As icing on the cake – and most importantly – a whole lot of new, amazing people in my life.

That is the beauty of Startup Weekend.

Our 5 Favorite Startup Digest Reading List Articles From Last Week

5 hand-picked articles from across the Startup Digest Reading Lists. Sign up to receive great weekly content on various topics from expert curators.


1. Beyoncé Wants to Change the Conversation

By Tamar Gottesman

Digest: Music
Curator: Katie Chase

So much to learn from Beyoncé about how to lead in the manner of your choosing. Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bXoC5r


2. How to give and receive better feedback as a remote team

By Kate Kendall

Digest: Startup
Curators: Zubin Chagpar & Chris McCann

“We’ve set up a round-robin schedule where each person schedules two calls per month with two different team members. That way, we have a dedicated time to catch up with another member of the team who you might not otherwise chat with outside of daily work tasks.” Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bXhopf


3. Forget Apple vs the FBI: WhatsApp Just Switched On Encryption For A Billion People

By Cade Metz

Digest: Mobile
Curator: Edith Yeung

The company employs only about 50 engineers. And it took a team of only 15 of them to bring encryption to the company’s one billion users—a tiny, technologically empowered group of individuals engaging in a new form of asymmetrical resistance to authority, standing up not only to the US government, but all governments. Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bXhC7P


4. Why No Dining App Is the ‘Airbnb of Food’ (Yet)

By Tove Danovich

Digest: Product
Curators: Sophie-Charlotte Moatti & Reza Ladchartabi

Apps promoting social dining experiences beyond restaurants seem ripe for the “sharing economy.” So why aren’t they dominating the market? Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bXg-Nn


5. OLO – The First Ever Smartphone 3D Printer

By OLO, Kickstarter

Digest: 3D Printing
Curator: Dilanka

This is a very neat Kickstarter that is doing incredibly well. It’s a tiny 3D Printer that involves your smartphone. It seems to be really well designed. Despite the fact that most 3D Printer Kickstarters have failed, I am always excited to see new and innovative projects. Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bXf1nn


Sign up for these or other Startup Digest reading lists, here.

Our 5 Favorite Startup Digest Reading List Articles From Last Week

5 hand-picked articles from across the Startup Digest Reading Lists. Sign up to receive great weekly content on various topics from expert curators.


1. How to get a startup job, even if you have an MBA

By Matheus Riolfi

Digest: Startup
Curators: Zubin Chagpar & Chris McCann

One of the first things I heard when I arrived in San Francisco was this joke: “Silicon Valley investors value startups by adding $1M for each engineer in the team and by reducing $500k for each MBA.” Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bWoH7r


2. 50 Sources of Funding for Women Entrepreneurs

By Melinda Briana Epler

Digest: Women Entrepreneurship
Curators: Babs Lee & Lilibeth Gangas

Want to know where the women investors are at and who is funding women? Check out these resources of capital for women entrepreneurs. Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bWmtqD


3. The Mess at Nest Echoes the Mess in the Smart Home

By Stacey Higginbotham

Digest: Internet of Things
Curator: Michael Kruk

This article discusses the challenges faced by any company going after the smart home market and takes a deep dive into Nest’s experiences facing those challenges and others. Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bWocsj


4. Affordable Teslas? Elon Musk is about to take your brain to Mars.

By Suzanne Jacobs

Digest: Mobility & Transportation
Curator: Timo Hoffmann

Affordable, good electric automobile from Tesla. Its Model 3 seems to be a game-changer. Maybe… Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bWnGaX


5. ‘Fitbit for your period’: the rise of fertility tracking

By Moira Weigel

Digest: Mobile
Curator: Edith Yeung

Investors are pouring money into apps that allow women to track their fertility. Can tech companies use data to change the world of women’s reproductive health? Read More

More from this reading list: http://eepurl.com/bWnn-P


Sign up for these or other Startup Digest reading lists, here.

Startup Weekend: What's Next?

With the new year upon us, you’re likely thinking about what’s next for your startup idea and team.  In reality, you may well find your team changing from the one formed at Startup Weekend as the focus, priorities and even the idea itself changes.

If you’ve not had a chance to chat with your team since Townsville Startup Weekend 2015, now’s a perfect time to have that discussion.  For those forming new teams from bigger teams, we strongly encourage you to have an open and honest talk with all in your original group about the future of your idea.  You never know how people might help you in the long run!  We can’t stress the importance of this tough but crucial conversation.

You’ll earn the respect of others by being upfront and open about what you want to do and who you want to work with.  You can engage former group mates as long term supporters, even if they aren’t continuing as team members.  Doing this will help you get the best outcomes for your concepts.

If you’ve left your team or your former team decides to proceed without you, don’t take it personally; focus on your opportunities going forward!  You can even pursue your original Startup Weekend idea or something similar with a brand new team.  If you’re looking for people to work with, post on our Facebook group, join in the regular Meetups (next one is Wednesday 20 Jan 2016) and talk to others from Startup Weekend and wider startup community.  The 2015 organising team are across all of these platforms, but if you’ve got specific questions, you can also email David, Lauren or John at townsville@startupweekend.org.

For more thoughts, check out The “What Next Monster”, a great post by Nick Stevens regarding what comes next after a Startup Weekend, and helps explain the road ahead.

As a community, we want you to have an awesome experience and help build a strong startup community.  Communities talk, so get the conversations happening – you never know where it’ll lead you!

Dignity Health St. John’s collaborates with Camarillo Chamber of Commerce to launch Startup Weekend Ventura County , CA


Dignity Health St. John’s Regional Medical Center and St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital have partnered with the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce to launch the inaugural Startup Weekend Ventura County on March 11-13, 2016 at Rancho Campana High School in Camarillo, CA.

Startup Weekend Ventura County 11

The event will focus on innovative Internet of Things solutions for Healthcare and Agriculture. Startup Weekend is a 54-hour weekend event, during which entrepreneurs pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday evening. As a result, participants will learn how to create a real company and meet the best mentors, investors, cofounders, and sponsors who have the knowledge, resources and tools to help entrepreneurs get started.

“Partnering with others in the community to improve the quality of life is one of our three stated missions,” said Darren Lee, President and CEO of St. John’s Hospitals. “Helping to create high-paying jobs by supporting entrepreneurs’ launch of technology-driven businesses is an effective way to achieve it.” “Scalable business is fundamental to driving robust and sustainable economic growth,” added Gary Cushing, Chief Executive Officer of Camarillo Chamber of Commerce. “The high cost of housing makes it hard to attract out-of-state technology companies to set up shop in California. We need to grow our own. To accomplish this, we have to create an environment conducive to entrepreneurs launching their new businesses in our backyard.”

Заврши уште еден Стартап Викенд Скопје

Со големо финале кое се одржа во петокот заврши петтиот Стартап Викенд Скопје. Овој пат, бизнис комплексот CoSeed беше домаќин на повеќе од 60 учесници, кои со помош на 20 локални и интернационални ментори ги развиваа своите стартап идеи. По петти пат Стартап Викенд Скопје беше место каде што се спојуваат млади креативни ентузијасти, дизајнери, програмери, економисти, маркетери, со една заедничка цел, да креираат своја стартап компанија за 54 часа.


Во петокот беа презентирани 21 идеја, од кои по гласањето се формираа 12 тима. Саботата беше резервинрана за менторските сесии и подетално развивање на идеите. Тимовите добија совети околу маркетинг стратегија, креирање бизнис план, дизајнирање на апликации, но имаше време и за запознавање, одмор и заедничко дружење. Во неделата се работеше на последните подготовки за презентациите, дефинирање на идеите и најважниот дел, финалето. Тимовите ги презентираа своите идеи пред 5-членото жири, а ова се најуспешните од нив:


Третото место го освоија mono.mk, онлајн сервис кој ќе ви помогне да го решите парадоксот на изборот и ќе ви понудат еден продукт дневно по многу достапна цена. Совршена опција за неодлучни луѓе.


Второто место им припадна на Slapp, апликација која на интересен начин ќе ви помогне да ја победите прокрастинацијата. Тие беа еден од тимовите кои ни презентираа и демо верзија.


На #swskopje во Мај го освоија второто место со апликацијата NowPark.me, а овој пат првото место отиде во рацете на NCS, тим кои сакаат преку апликацијата VoiTEx да им помогнат на глувите и лицата со оштетен слух да воспостават телефонски повик.


За најдобра презентација беше прогласен тимот Legend Squad, односно најмладиот тим чија идеја беше да направат Mindcraft сервер. Мораме да напоменеме дека овој тим беше едноставно awesome!


StudieBuddies преку онлајн социјална платформа го решаваат проблемот со кој се соочуваат студентите кои не студираат во својот роден град и има за цел да ги поврзе оние кои имаат заеднички интерес, да учат заедно или пак да споделуваат материјали. WeLearn со апликацијата Буфко сакаат на младите деца од пред школска возраст да им овозможат забава и учење преку игри со кои можат да ја подобрат својата меморија. BusHelp имаат за цел да го решат проблемот со јавниот транспорт во Скопје. Идејата на FreshFridge е секогаш да имаме достапна здрава храна, а тоа ќе го решат преку достава до секој дом. ConDoma го решаваат проблемот што го имаат луѓето на каса кога купуваат производи кои им предизвикуваат срам и преку онлајн сервис овозможуваа дискретна достава до посакувана локација во брендиран пакет по избор. Идејата на StudentNinja е едукативна платформа која ги поврзува учениците, професорите и родителите и овозможува интерактивно учење. Тимот 1000 работеа на веб страна која ќе овозможува групно принтање. И за крај EBLApp, платформа каде што ќе може да го најдеш кредитот кој ти е потребен со пополнување на онлајн формулар што ќе проверува какви услуги нудат банките, со цел да можеме полесно да ја избереме онаа која најмногу ни одговара.


Со успешното завршување на Стартап Викенд Скопје уште еднаш се покажа дека во Македонија има многу креативни и вредни, млади луѓе, со квалитетни идеи кои можат да прераснат во успешни бизниси. Искуството со кое се збогатија учесниците на овој настан ќе им помогне при идните предизвици, а контактите кои ги стекнаа ќе им бидат од огромно значење при реализацијата на нивните идеи.

 Уште еднаш би сакале да се заблагодариме на сите кои ја поддржаа македонската стартап заедница преку нашиот настан:

Галеријата со слики од настанот можете да ја видите на фан страната на фејсбук, а твитовите што одеа за време на настанот ќе ги најдете на твитер под хаштагот #swskopje.

Следете нè и очекувајте го наредниот настан во 2016.


Startup Weekend Bahrain 2015 Winners

Startup Weekend Bahrain

November 19th – 21st, 2015

Firstly, I’d like to thank our Strategic partner ‘Tamkeen’ and our sponsors Batelco, ALBA (Aluminum Bahrain), Microsoft and Coca Cola Bottling Company for its support with Startup Weekend Bahrain. With their support, our participants were able to follow through with their startup journey.

Our top 3 winners were Beauty Q, Pick-A-Dive and The Hive, with 4th place honorary winner ‘Turnover’.

Beauty Q in first place, won BD 3,000 and one year co-working space at the event’s host, Tenmou. The team created an online-beauty-salon reservation app that at its initial stage will serve the consumers and eventually work to create a CRM database for the salons to manage its appointments reservation.
Pick-A-Dive won second place, with BD 2,000 cash prize and 6 months co-working space at Tenmou. The team created an online reservation website for diving fanatics to be to reserve for diving classes or hours. This will enable both customers to find the available bookings and diving instructors the opportunity for exposure.
Our third place winners, The Hive won BD 1000 and 3 month co-working space. It is a community driven workspace where individuals with common interest such as machines, technology, digital arts can meet, socialize and collaborate.

Our honorary winners, ‘Turnover’, won 3 months co-working space at Tenmou offices. The team created an application where consumers are able to receive discounts for off-peak hours in restaurants. This creates deals for diners and traffic for restaurateurs.

Around 80 participants joined Startup Weekend Bahrain, with a tally of 13 initial pitches which later on were voted to the final 11 teams. The organizing team made sure to inform the teams to focus on the MVP’s (Minimal Viable Products) in order to validate their startups. We were impressed by the outstanding outcomes that  mostly all 11 teams had their pitched startups were validated by globally recognized establishments in the field of their e-business.

The best part about this year’s Startup Weekend Bahrain was the quality of our pitching startups. We tried our best as hosts to create a creative environment for our startups and potential entrepreneurs. As the host of Startup Weekend, we at Tenmou are working on building the startup ecosystem in Bahrain, as well as working on building the angel investment ecosystem in the MENA region. Our aim is to uplift the entrepreneurship community with our country’s vision of 2030 and raise awareness for startups with potential.

Finally, we’d like to thank our Startup Weekend Bahrain facilitator, Mr. Zoheb Iqbal for creating such a positive vibe for our participants and encouraging them with their pitching. Our message to all our participants and future participants is to encourage and embrace entrepreneurship.

Are we there yet? (Comic)

#entrepreneurfail Transport
Ahoy! Stormy seas ahead. All hands on deck… 

How are you getting there? You have two options for transportation. One option is the Entrepreneur Ship. But beware, there is no schedule! And as this boat never docks, so you have to leap on!  The ship roams uncharted waters through hurricanes and typhoons, all without a life boat, map or a fixed destination.  It is not for the weak-stomached.

The other option is the Gravy Train.  This steam engine was meant for anyone who can’t or doesn’t want to make it aboard the Entrepreneur Ship.  If you are not familiar with a Gravy Train, it is described as a “cushy situation where little to no work is involved”.  So even though you may have a challenging corporate job, it is nothing compared to the Entrepreneur Ship.  The Gravy Train stays on the track so there aren’t many surprises and the ride is slow and steady – making it great for sightseeing.

So how are you getting there? Let us know in the comments below.


Startup Weekend Macapá: 54 horas de criatividade nos negócios

O Startup Weekend Macapá irá reunir desenvolvedores, designers, marketeiros, gerentes de produtos com sede de empreendedorismo em um mesmo lugar.

Estão abertas as inscrições para o primeiro Startup Weekend Macapá, a ser realizado nos dias 27, 28 e 29 deste mês, no campus Macapá do Instituto Federal do Amapá (Ifap).

O Startup Weekend Macapá irá reunir desenvolvedores, designers, especialistas em marketing, gerentes de produtos e estudantes concentrados em um mesmo lugar para criar ideias inovadoras com foco no empreendedorismo.

Serão 54 horas de aprendizado, trabalho em equipe e esforço para tirar projetos do papel e colocá-los em prática.

Os melhores negócios propostos irão participar do Startup Weekend Brasil.

As inscrições devem ser feitas até o dia 26 deste mês.

“Este é um modelo novo de empreender e pela primeira vez será realizado no Amapá. Juntos esses profissionais vão estar voltados a criar projetos tendo a orientação dementores. Será um exercício de criatividade e empreendedorismo juntos. Algo inédito que o Ifap faz questão de estar à frente, em parceria com o Sebrae, e apoio de diversas instituições, porque irá contribuir para a disseminação de uma concepção inovadora de mercado. E como instituição de educação profissional e tecnológica o Ifap tem interesse de fomentar o mercado local”, disse Márcio Oliveira, coordenador de extensão do Ifap, e um dos organizadores do Startup Weekend Macapá.

A programação começa na sexta-feira (27/11), com o credenciamento dos participantes, boas vindas e esclarecimentos sobre a agenda para o fim de semana e apresentação da equipe de mentores, facilitadores e jurados. Em seguida terá o início dos “Pitches”, apresentação das ideias de negócios dos participantes.

Haverá ainda a votação para a escolha dos melhores “Pitches” por parte da equipe de mentores, formação das equipes e início efetivo dos trabalhos, com o levantamento das habilidades e detalhamento dos passos para o desenvolvimento do negócio. As equipes poderão ficar ininterruptamente no local durante todo o final de semana.

Durante todo o dia de sábado (28/11), as equipes farão o desenvolvimento do negócio proposto e relatórios de status, tendo encontro com os mentores e reuniões com o treinador.

No domingo (29/11), as atividades continuam com relatórios de status, pedido de ajuda, momento com os mentores e todos os preparativos para as apresentações finais, que ocorrerão a partir das 17 horas.

No final, haverá o julgamento e a a premiação dos melhores negócios. As três primeiras equipes receberão consultoria do Sebrae em gestão e marketing, de 20h, 15h e 5h, respectivamente.

O Startup Weekend Macapá terá como treinadores e mentores Alex Lima, gestor de projetos de Economia Criativa e Startups pelo Sebrae/AC, Heygler de Paula, coordenador de Parcerias e Alianças no Start-Up Brasil, Carlos Clayton, CEO da VIU Soluções, Fábio Santos, CTO da Orça Fascio e especialista em desenvolvimento de software web, Sabrina Verzola, especialista em Direito Processual Civil e coordenadora de Propriedade Intelectual e diretora do Núcleo de Inovação de Transferência e Tecnologia da Universidade Federal do Amapá, Renato Ribeiro, fundador e coordenador da Startup Simply As.

1º Startup Weekend Macapá
Data: 27, 28 e 29 de novembro de 2015
Local: campus Macapá do Ifap (rodovia BR 210, Km3, bairro Brasil Novo)

Compra de ingressos aqui

Márcio Oliveira
marcio.oliveira@ifap.edu.br / (96) 9 9115 0101

Maikon Richardson
maikon@ap.sebrae.com.br / (96) 9 8116 5692

Por Suely Leitão, assessora de Comunicação

Assessoria de Comunicação
Instituto Federal do Amapá (Ifap)
Telefone: 3198-2165
E-mail: ascom@ifap.edu.br
Twitter: @ifap_oficial
Facebook: /institutofederaldoamapa