The Breakfast Seminar involved a one hour business talk session to give insights and knowledge on key business areas that are vital to startups in their journey to establish their business. Almost every participant arrived by 8.30am to get a light breakfast and take a seat in the presentation area in time for the presentations by guest speakers from the Norwegian bank, DNB, and global accountancy firm, KPMG.The first guest speaker was Terje R. Fanebust, Senior Vice President of DNB Sør-Rogaland, who presented on the challenges startups face when seeking finance. The second guest speaker was Kai Michaelsen, Auditor and Partner of KPMG Stavanger, who gave insights into the typical accounting challenges for startups in Norway. As the seminar ended, the Lead Organisers emphasised the importance of these two topics beyond Startup Weekend and assured all participants that the information and slides from each speaker wold be shared. The success of the Breakfast Seminar initiative was evident by the number of participants that took the opportunity to ask banking and accounting related questions of each of the guest speakers at this point.
However, with the morning kicking off with some intense knowledge building, it was now time to get back to the main reason that everyone was at the event – to develop a big idea into a viable startup business! Teams quickly regrouped and the next stage of their startup journey was back in motion.
After a few hours of working and a light lunch of freshly filled rolls and coffees, participants were invited for a “Startup Workshop”. The first of two workshops for the day started with “Lean Startup & Business Model Canvas” led by event Facilitator, Dwight Gunning. The half hour optional workshop was introduced to the schedule to give participants some tips and tools to progress their startup idea during Saturday.
Once the first workshop was completed, it was time for the first check in. With Oslo holding their Startup Weekend event at the same time as Stavanger, event Facilitator, Dwight Gunning, suggested that the Norwegian cities connected for their check ins. This idea went down a storm with each team in Stavanger and Oslo who took it in turns to proudly stand up in front of a live stream and share the status of their idea…….with an amused wave and enthusiastic greeting into the webcam to kick off each check in!Following the webcam check ins, which also included some impromptu cyber networking and idea sharing between participants in each city, it was time for the mentors to get more acquainted with the teams and give them support and advice with progressing their business ideas.
Four mentors with varying skill sets and backgrounds circulated the room to get updates from each team on the progress of their business ideas. Some teams were already starting to develop their startup ideas in a new direction, indicating that the final presentations to judges on Sunday would be both exciting and interesting to hear – and quite possibly a completely new interpretation of the initial idea pitched the night before.
After working for a few hours with mentors and developing ideas further, it was time for the Organizing Team to set up for dinner and get participants to stop working and take a break. However, with the evening now upon the teams, participant’s minds were fully focused on what was needed to prepare for the final day of the event weekend.To put the participants on the right track for the Sunday presentations to judges, event Facilitator, Dwight, invited participants to join the final “Startup Workshop straight after dinner – “Presentation Preparation & Judging Criteria”. Again, this was a half hour optional workshop but once again, the workshop was well attended indicating the intense level of competition and serious business ideas that were developing between the teams over the weekend.
As Saturday evening drew to a close, there was an air of excitement in the room as participants reluctantly packed up their papers and pens and started to focus on the day that lay ahead. Judgement day was looming and the winning idea for the most promising startup business would soon be revealed for the city of Stavanger.