SHOULD YOU ATTEND A STARTUP WEEKEND? LESSONS FROM BOULDER STARTUP WEEKEND 2016

​Today, I’m mentoring at Boulder Startup Weekend. I do this because startup weekends are one of the best spots to launch your startup, or make the jump of quitting your 9to5.

​I figured writing about this would accomplish two goals:

One, I could ask each team for their ‘elevator pitch,’ which is the quick overview of what their idea or startup is. Startups often times get so deep and into the work, they fail to be able to describe it in two sentences.

No one understands it and your startup is not going anywhere until others can quickly grasp it.

Two, I could share with YOU, the reader who is entrepreneurial, but hasn’t made the jump yet, why you should attend a Startup Weekend.

What is startup weekend?
For those of you who don’t know the format of a startup weekend, random attendees will pitch their ideas and other attendees will choose which teams they want to help. Very organic and unstructured.

It starts on a Friday, goes all day Saturday and Sunday, until the final presentations Sunday evening. There’s lots of caffeine, snacks, and energy. There’s also coaches/mentors who help advise the startups to best help them win when they pitch to the judges on Sunday evening.

Select Teams
Anyway, let’s learn more about the teams & attendees. Why did they come? What are they working on, and how will it help them long-term?

JamsAt
A place to find all music festivals, solving the problem of people having to find them through social. Kurt Larsen had the original idea, and says that Startup Weekend helped him primarily with validation. He was able to identify more channels of revenue by brainstorming with the team. He plans to continue to enter more content and develop a festival chat to connect people at the festivals.

You can learn at www.jamsat.com

Lift Smart
Provides accountability to gym members through transparent power metrics. Zane Taylor had the idea, found 4 others to join his team, including a mechanical engineer and designer. The #1 way his team helped him was marrying the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to the customer value proposition.

NativeSync
Marketplace for niche API integrations and for developers to monetize their API integrations. Doug Ward, joined Nick Bryant who pitched the idea because he felt the problem of non-existing API integrations in his own transportation business. He’s been to two startup weekends before and wanted to check out the startup scene in Boulder. He hopes that after this weekend that 3 or 4 of them continue to pursue it.

Check them out at NativeSync.io

Locate
Helps you find your friends easily at concerts. Eric Nudelman joined Melanie O’Neill team since he was interested in a consumer product and thought it was a great. Fellow team member Robert Yota, says “It’s a very simple concept with an open market opportunity.” The entire team agreed that delegating and having a diverse set of skills helped them make massive progress. After startup weekend, the team said they’re considering making more prototypes and that they’re going to talk about that in a few hours.

The team does not have a website yet.

Who can startup weekend help?
After talking with the teams, the biggest reason to go to startup weekend is if you have an idea, you can build a team to help you, for free, for 54 hours. Startups have no money to pay people a salary so they MUST take advantage of these amazing weekends. Since attendees join your team if they’re interested in it, it also means they care about your idea. Win-win.

You can find Startup Weekends near you here or at startupweekends.co.

Originally posted at www.handshakin.com.

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