Startup Weekend is now a global success taking place in major cities and now is entering smaller communities and becoming a lot more diverse. Santa Maria Startup Weekend is a great example of this. Communities that have entrepreneurial potential that needs to be unlocked. I will be one the speakers. The coaches are great and the judges come from very diverse backgrounds. The event promises to be exciting and dynamic. There are only a few seats left, so make sure to register.
We’ve all gotten that “aha” moment, when we’ve realized that a product or service can be much better than it is today or that a brand new service can help people be more efficient. We have that little voice inside our heads that suggests solutions to problems we are experiencing in our daily lives. A brand new idea or an improvement to an existing product that could make our lives much better. These ideas are a mixed bag –– sometimes they are inspired and unique and some others they are, well a bit too thin. But none of them are worthless. All the creative process serves a purpose. A “thin” idea is the first step you take to form a well thought out and worthwhile idea.
Unfortunately these ideas stay at an empirical level. Friends of mine often see the task of creating something new as a monumental task devoted to the geniuses of design and engineering. This is where Startup Weekend comes in. It helps you realize that you can create things and that your dreams can become a reality much faster than what you thought.
I attended one of the first Startup Weekends in San Francisco and San Jose and the events were amazing. It changed my point of view in terms of what a person can accomplish. Before Startup Weekend I had already started Tangelo, my own services company (clients include: Intuit, Padnos, Zuberance, etc.) and was trying out the entrepreneurial path. It was my first year and it was tough. I went to a Startup Weekend not knowing what to expect. What I found was amazing –– a group of people with the drive to do something big. Every single one of them emanated great entrepreneurial energy. I learned that I didn’t know much but that it didn’t really matter because we were there to figure it out together. I learned that you need to continue to improve because this group will be supportive but that you need to keep up with the pace. I learned that Startup Weekend is more about the people you meet that the idea that you bring in.
There are very few startups that have gotten funding or that have continued after Startup Weekend. FoodSpotting (acquired by OpenTable) and InDinero (financial services for small businesses) are the ones that people usually refer to. This should not stop you from going. The purpose of Startup Weekend is to open your mind and to light your entrepreneurial fire. To meet folks entrepreneurs and investors that could help you at the event but most likely in the future.
Come with an open mind and all the energy you can muster.