David Hyde initially created Startup Weekend as an event where a group of individuals would brainstorm a single business idea and work to bring that business to fruition over the course of the weekend. The event quickly evolved into its current form and is usually composed of 60 – 120 participants.
Startup Weekend is coming to London again on September 14 – 16, and will be held in the Google Campus on Old Street. The 54-hour events are held worldwide and give developers, coders, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts a chance to come together, share ideas, form teams, build products, and create startups.
Startup Network of Inspiration
Founded in 2007 by Andrew Hyde, Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs, working to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. Startup Weekend has hosted 400 events all around the world in over 200 cities.
Entrepreneurs and wannabe innovators are welcome to these events, where people can pitch their startup ideas to fellow entrepreneurs and receive expert feedback and advice.The best ideas are then determined by popular vote and are subjected to a 54 hour frenzy of coding, business model creation, designing and market validation. Once this is completed at the end of the weekend, the ideas are then presented to local entrepreneurial leaders and get another opportunity to receive important feedback.
Startup Weekend offers the following to attendees:
- The chance to learn a new skill or a new way of thinking
- An environment to build your network and create relationships
- Tips on how to launch a business
- Interact with mentors and thought leaders
- Get access to startup resources
Creating your own startup can be notoriously hard. They involve a lot of responsibility, less pay and more sacrifices, let alone a shaky and often uncertain future. Because of these factors, attending an event like Startup Weekend can prove very productive and inspiring.
“Startups are hard, extremely hard. You can’t start a successful startup in a weekend. You can start building a community, which is what Startup Weekend is really about.” Says Founder Andrew Hyde
“I think the weekend makes entrepreneurialism more human to people just wanting to check it out, or for people looking to expand their skills.”
Important Advice for a Startup Weekend Attendee
The winner or March’s London Startup Weekend was Pollarize.me, which is a way to create an A/B question and distribute it to friends across social networks. The team won an opportunity to be fast-tracked into Telefonica’s incubator, Wayra. Michael Hobson attended the Startup Weekend and helped develop Pollarize.me. He had some advice for anyone attending a successful hackathon:
- Do Your Research – Check the market to see if there is already a similar product. If there isn’t, ask people if they would use yours.
- Collaborate – Working as a team is essential, but also take some time to concentrate working on a task. Have regular updates to ensure everyone is on track.
- Keep your Energy Levels Up – Keep yourself nourished, don’t forget to eat and drink to ensure you have the stamina to continue with the work.