“Everyone Is an Entrepreneur at Heart:” Community Leader Spotlight with Sean Paul Shanor

“Techstars Startup Weekend saved my life, literally!” said Synergy Space Founder and Techstars Startup Weekend Facilitator Sean Paul Shanor. It would be difficult to find a more enthusiastic advocate for these events, and he’s always willing to do whatever it takes to make another happen: “As a thank you and to spark as many as possible, I have every single weekend open to facilitate any event, anywhere on the planet. I’m in. Just ask.”

It was his mother who got Sean Paul to his first Techstars Startup Weekend (“thanks, Mom!”). After over a decade working in event operations and management, running major pro golf events around the world, Sean lost his “passion for life,” as he put it, and went home to Norway to find himself. One Friday evening, his mother kicked him out of the house, telling him, “Go to this thing called Startup Weekend. Looks like something you might enjoy.”

Catching the Startup Bug

For Sean Paul, the experience was a revelation: “First time in my life exposed to a 60-second pitch. Building websites and products in hours, not months. Brainstorming ideas and thoughts on a whiteboard. Feeling the openness and curiosity flourish. Meeting others in the same boat. Becoming aware of an entire ecosystem full of people willing to help, guide, and teach. In short, I got the startup bug. I found a new piece of myself to explore, and to this day I have never looked back.”

Ever since that first Techstars Startup Weekend, entrepreneurship has been Sean Paul’s driving force. But for him, it’s less about starting companies himself than about helping others. “I’m passionate about entrepreneurship,” Sean Paul said. “But infinitely more passionate about sharing my experiences and teaching others how they can become entrepreneurs. How anyone can be the impact they wish to be. It’s just a matter of choice.”

Living Give First

Sean Paul lives the Techstars value Give First. He segments his time in order to balance his priorities, and make sure he makes time for everything he considers most important. “I am privileged in being able to design an 80/20 balance for work,” Sean Paul explained. “80% is spent coaching individuals and teams, facilitating workshops, pitch training, and giving keynotes to inspire action—and finally, relaunching my own startup, Synergy Space. This allows me to fully volunteer 20% to help student projects and Techstars Startup Weekends.”

This is simply a response to Sean Paul’s deep belief that “everyone is an entrepreneur at heart. It’s just a matter of giving everyone a chance, teaching, and providing guidance where it’s needed the most.”

In Sean Paul’s view of humanity, “We are all entrepreneurial inside.” He sees many different ways this can play out. As he explained: “This applies to yourself as a living and breathing human, as an intrapreneur shaking up corporates positively, as a game-changing leader and cofounder. All require you to be strong on the inside, understand yourself and those around you, to listen, to learn, to fail, to get up and try again.”

And in case you were wondering whether Sean Paul might want to come to your next Techstars Startup Weekend, he said again: “I am not kidding when I say I am here for penciling-in any Techstars Startup Weekend, anywhere!”








Techstars Global Startup Weekend: Announcing the Winner of the 2018 Global Showcase!

By Jennifer Cabala, Techstars VP of Community

The GamerMeetups.com team

We want to send a big thank you to everyone who participated in Techstars Global Startup Weekend 2018 during global entrepreneurship week! We are awed and inspired by the 10,000+ attendees in 61 countries who came out to the ultimate startup experience; to innovate, forge new bonds, and experience three days of highs and lows of building startups!

Six regional winners of TGSW were announced earlier this week. They started their journey in November with nothing but an idea, and made it to the regional finals of this one-of-a-kind startup experience.

Now our amazing global judges have picked a winner for the Techstars Global Startup Weekend Showcase:

Congratulations GamerMeetups.com!

Techstars Startup Weekend Orlando

GamerMeetups.com, in their own words: “For video gamers who attend events, it is hard to easily locate accurate interest specific event information. GamerMeetups.com is an online unified platform of current accurate and useful gaming event information that connects video gamers with event organizers. Event Organizers register and post free or ticketed events to an event page on the platform. Registered gamers receive notifications of nearby upcoming events specific to their interests and can purchase tickets for events from the platform.”

Prizes

GamerMeetups.com will receive the following prizes:

  • WeWork Hot Desk: Hot desk for six months. Access to any open seat in the common area! Just show up, set up shop, and get to work.
  • Google for Startups Cloud Credits: $100k in Google Cloud credits!
  • ClassPass membership: Get an all-access membership to a global network of 10,000 fitness studios, or try their at home videos. Four $100 gift cards toward memberships.
  • Rocketbook Everlast: The Rocketbook Everlast provides a classic pen and paper experience, yet is reusable and connected to the cloud. Four notebooks for the team.
  • Deluxe .CO Swag Bag: Swag bags for your team from our partners at .CO, including LSTN headphones, Portable Bluetooth Speaker, and more.

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Find a Techstars Startup Weekend near you, and experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup—in 54 hours.








Techstars Global Startup Weekend: Announcing the 2018 Regional Showcase Winners

By Jennifer Cabala, Techstars VP of Community

With more than 10,000 attendees, the 2018 Techstars Global Startup Weekend has been a huge success, and we offer enormous thanks to all the people who made these events happen. In 61 countries across every time zone, our community leaders, mentors, judges, and participants came to Techstars Startup Weekend to build awesome companies, forge new bonds, and experience three days of the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup.

After a week of voting and a regional judging round, we are proud to introduce the Regional Showcase winners from each of our six regions. These six teams are now being evaluated to win the Global Showcase, which will be on December 13th.

Please give a round of applause for the following teams:

Asia Pacific: TASUKI

Techstars Startup Weekend Yokohama-shi

Tasuki, in their own words: “For the owner of small business, who do not have their successor of their company, we are making the web media enabling the owner to find out their successor out of their company and family.”

Brazil: SobraZero

Techstars Startup Weekend São Paulo

SobraZero, in their own words: “SobraZero connects people with surplus materials from finished constructions or renovations with people who seek low cost materials for their own project. SobraZero works for the reduction waste, while facilitating access to quality housing, by selling cheap with a lean cost structure.”

Europe: Playbox

Techstars Startup Weekend Zürich

Playbox, in their own words: “PLAYBOX allows parkgoers to effortlessly rent sports equipment through a vending machine like self service kiosk to play anytime and anywhere.”

LatAm: DateCare

Techstars Startup Weekend Panama

DateCare, in their own words: “In Panama, older adults represent 8% of the population (355k) and it is expected to increase up to 18.7% (1.1m) by 2050 (INEC). As well as other patients, they require special health care. Also, over 1,000 nurses are now needed in the country (ANEP). This results in a growing problem to find a professional healthcare in a comfortably and reliable way. Based on this, we created a platform called DateCARE that facilitates access to a network of top qualified professionals, who provides these services at home, adapted to their time and pace of life.”

MENA: Supplify

Techstars Startup Weekend Bahrain

Supplify, in their own words: “For the restaurants that order their supplies using phone and email, Supplify is simplifying the business needs by streamlining ordering supplies and to give the restaurant options of finding alternatives.”

USA/Canada: GamerMeetups.com

Techstars Startup Weekend Orlando

GamerMeetups.com, in their own words: “For video gamers who attend events, it is hard to easily locate accurate interest specific event information. GamerMeetups.com is an online unified platform of current accurate and useful gaming event information that connects video gamers with event organizers. Event Organizers register and post free or ticketed events to an event page on the platform. Registered gamers receive notifications of nearby upcoming events specific to their interests and can purchase tickets for events from the platform.”

The six regional winning teams of Techstars Global Startup Weekend will receive the following prizes:

  • Free conference tickets for the whole team: (Techsauce for APAC/ Next Web for Europe/ Talent Network for LATAM/ Techstars Foundercon Berlin for MEA/ Collision for USA, Canada/ and Case for Brazil).
  • Participants of the winning teams will have the option to be featured on the Techstars Job Portal (for a lifetime). Their profiles will be featured and Techstars alumni companies will be able to see their badge of excellence when looking at candidate profiles.
  • Techstars Water Bottles & Techstars T-Shirts
  • $3k in Google for Startups Cloud Credits

The global winner of TGSW will be announced on Thursday, December 13th, so stay tuned!

Thanks to our great sponsors of Techstars Global Startup Weekend: Google for Startups.co, and Global Entrepreneurship Week for helping support these teams and all of the events this year.

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Find a Techstars Startup Weekend near you, and experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup—in 54 hours.