Lately, we’ve been talking a lot about hackathons and startup weekends, but a lot of people look at us like deer in headlights. Hack-a-what? Do what in a weekend? So, I thought it would be useful to provide some insight into what it is and why you might want to attend one. After all, even deer need direction.
First, let me say that instead of reinventing the wheel, we’ve decided to partner with Techstars to use their startup weekend model, but essentially, a hackathon and startup weekend are the same thing – cool events that challenge you to learn new things in an entrepreneurial fashion while making deep connections with new people as well as people you may know already.
… 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and nontechnical entrepreneurs. The weekend events are centered on action, innovation, and education. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through testing, business model development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos to a panel of potential investors and local entrepreneurs. Participants are challenged with building functional startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks.
WHO YOU’LL MEET AT TECHSTARS STARTUP WEEKEND?
Startup Weekends attendees’ backgrounds are roughly
- 50% technical (developers, coders, designers)
- 50% business (marketing, finance, law).
WHY DO PEOPLE COME TO STARTUP WEEKEND?
- 29% of Startup Weekend participants attend an event to network, which can lead to a job
- 20% attend to develop/build a product
- 13% attend to learn how to create a new venture.
After the event is over, roughly 80% of attendees plan on continuing to work on their startup after the weekend.
WHAT YOU’LL GET OUT OF THE EVENT:
- Education: Startup Weekends are all about learning by doing, whether you’re learning anew skill or a new way of thinking. Don’t just listen to theory, build your own strategy and test it as you go.
- CoFounder Dating: The people who come to Startup Weekend are serious about learning how to build and launch startups. Create relationships that last long past the weekend.
- Have fun: During the weekend working alongside awesome people who share your ideas. Techstars Startup Weekend is meant to be fun and entertaining so enjoy it.
- Solve local problems with your ideas. Do you think that one of your idea can change your town or have a positive impact in your group of people? Bring your idea notebook with you and start making a positive change in your local community.
- Build Your Network: Techstars Startup Weekend works hard to recruit high quality,driven entrepreneurs like you!
- Learn New Skills: With a whole weekend dedicated to letting your creative juices flow,Techstars Startup Weekends are perfect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or give marketing a try. With nothing to lose there’s no reason not to step outside your comfort zone.
- Learn How to Launch a Business (and Actually Do It!): Techstars Startup Weekend is the epitome of Lean Startup Methodology.
- Mentorship: Local tech and startup leaders participate in Techstars Startup Weekends and give feedback to participants. Interact with the movers and shakers in your community.
- Get Access to Valuable Startup Resources: By participating in Techstars Startup Weekend you are given instant access to great products and tools. No one leaves Techstars Startup Weekend empty handed! Click here to learn more about some of the offers our Global Sponsors provide during the event.
- Free Food! Techstars Startup Weekends are affordable (typically $75-$99, only $25-$50 for students). Your ticket includes seven meals (count ’em, 7!), snacks, and all the coffee you can drink.
As you can see, there are a lot of great reasons for attending a Startup Weekend. We partnered with Techstars Startup Weekend because they’ve hosted events in countries all over the world, they are a great organization to work with and they bring connections to Google, investors and other partnership opportunities.
Entrepreneurs are not lazy. They are the ones who get things done and go the extra mile (uphill both ways) to seek out cool opportunities. Are you an entrepreneur? Have you wanted to be one? This is your chance to see if you’ve got what it takes or to prove that you’ve got the right stuff.
Check out events calendars in your area and join a Startup Weekend. You will discover something magical about yourself, the world and the others you work with. It’s better than Disney!