In April 2012, I decided to join 70 entrepreneurs and take part in the first Startup Weekend outside of London. A crash course in business and entrepreneurship and an opportunity to test the viability of a business idea that I’d had for a while.
As the motto is No Talk, All Action (Similar to Global Service Jam) I was interested in the format and to get a real taste for business – rather than sitting at home watching the Apprentice claiming ‘I could do that’, it was time to see if I could.
What is Startup Weekend?
Startup Weekend are 54 hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build projects, and launch startups. Around half of the attendees have technical or design backgrounds, the other half have business backgrounds.
The process begins with open mic pitches on Friday. Attendees have the opportunity to pitch their best ideas in under 1 minute and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday the teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demonstrate their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts and pitch to investors. The winning team has the opportunity to venture capital investment.
We are all natural innovators, we all have ideas. Entrepreneurs are the ones who make ideas happen.
- Build your Network
Building a network of passionate entrepreneurs, makers and doers. These events attract the best from the community and by creating together, you can forge long-lasting relationships. You never know when you might need an expert programme, investor or co-founder
- Build and Launch Business
Building a scalable business that can solve real world problems. Over 36% of Startup Weekend businesses are still going after 3 months
- Get out of your Comfort Zone
Learn new skills and step out of your comfort zone. The weekend is dedicated to getting creative juices flowing, from learning new programme language to building new platforms.
- Expert Guidance
Learn from thought leaders and tech experts are there to help you. Each event has dedicated coaches and judges to help develop your ideas.
- Learn by Doing
Learning about business through the act of creating opposed to theory. Creating your own strategy and testing it as you go.
- Join a movement.
Startup Weekend is global with over 45,000 alumni.
Newcastle Startup Weekend
Here is a video to show highlights of the weekend.
Here is a video to show the highlights from a great weekend!