Start-up Weekend anxiety
For those of you who haven’t heard of start-up weekend, it’s opportunity to work with others on your idea or someone else’s idea in the span of 54 hours.
Honestly, when I got home from work, I was really miserable. Dreading the idea of doing start-up weekend and arguing with myself whether to pitch or not.
I hate public speaking with a passion. I can do it easy in front of people I’m comfortable with, but when it comes to total strangers, I freeze. All that runs through my mind is judgement.
“What a stupid idea…”, “She seems so unsure of herself” somewhere along those lines..
Had my Dad drop me off and sadly ended up at the BoxJelly instead of the Protohub Honolulu… Thankfully, one of the employees at the BoxJelly named Jay was super cool enough to drive me to the location. He listened to my idea , reassured me that everything is super cool down at Start-up and said I shouldn’t be afraid to pitch my idea because it had potential.
I felt a little better with his reassuring words and kept telling myself to pitch no matter what.
Finally went inside the Protohub and saw some familiar faces which made me feel a little better as well.
As quickly as I got there, it was already time to pitch…. My heart was beating out of my chest and almost felt like I was going to have a heart-attack. I asked Cannon to be my right hand man to help me pitch.
Many people had so many great ideas and were so confident that intimidated me even more so, but Cannon told me that I’ll kick butt and not to worry.
I was up and Cannon got up on stage. As I was explaining my idea, he was ‘demonstrating’. I got some laughter and enough votes to go on to the next round.
We grabbed people that we just met and little did we know that they had amazing skills. After grabbing some teammates, we headed over to the boxjelly and got to work on prototype.
Got there at 9:00am and the team mates showed up a little after and we got to work. Derek and Manny got to work on a chatroom aspect of the app, Me, Cannon and Robert got to work on the Business side.
I honestly felt guilty not being able to code since I had limited information and time wasn’t on our side. I always checked to make sure everyone was fine and if they needed anything from me.
Manny bought in a co-worker of his named Janette to help us with the design. I felt like we barely explained how the app worked but she banged it out amazingly. Again, felt guilty that I wasn’t doing enough for the team other than making sure the business side was solid.
Everyone was amazing in reassuring that everything is fine and we’ll get done with the project before Sunday to present.
Had to sign up for a time slot for Night Market and within the email stated I had to shout. Little did I know that it was to be taken seriously :(
Got recorded on an HD camera and a phone camera as well… but I felt awake afterwards which is nice lol.
Back to work, trying to finish the prototype to show off at the night market but had some malfunctions. Some people didn’t want to hear what I had to say and Jason ended up grabbing a couple with kids for me.
They loved the idea and bonus, the husband enquired about DevLeague.
Back to headquarters where we played one round of superfight which Derek provided and thankfully took some pressure off.
Afterwards, Manny was really patient in showing me the ropes of how the chatroom worked and the stylings as well. Made me really want to learn SASS.
The big day… god I never felt so many knots in my stomach. Everything was done and all we had to do was a presentation set up.
Everyone looked dead, but looked confident in their produced products. I wasn’t worried too much because everyone on the team worked so hard and made an amazing product. I couldn’t express my gratitude towards them because of my current skill set but I hope I can repay them someday.
Then, it was time for presentation practice. Another scary moment in my life. The mentors said we had a great product and an awesome presentation and noticed how nervous I was. They reassured me that everything will be just fine as long as we practiced.. and she was right!
Me, Robert and Manny were able to get everything down to a tee! It was hard to pack everything in 5 minutes but we managed to get the important information out there.
It was time for a media check. Everything was running smoothly and we were the first ones to get there. My nerves were getting the best of me again but thanks to Matts suggestion, I scarfed down a banana 30 minutes before the presentation started to calm down.
Got up on stage and blew it away. Didn’t exactly go as planned but we did pretty well! The hardest part for us was the questions the judges were throwing at us. Totally nerve-racking.
And like that it was over… I can finally relax and watch other groups presentations. The waiting process was hard as well as everyone was exhausted and wanted start-up to be over.
With the audience judging, it didn’t seem like we were going to win. At that moment, I had so much doubt.
Judges finally came to a consensus and were ready to announce the winners.
“…And third place goes to… ALL ABOUT!”
I couldn’t believe it. I almost started crying. I felt this overwhelming sense of guilt and happiness. Guilt from not being able to do much other than make sure the business plan was solid. Everyone worked so hard on my idea that it wasn’t just my idea anymore, it was everyone in the groups idea. They deserved the recognition more so than me.
Walking up to the stage and holding that big ‘check’ was crazy. Looking into the audience and feeling so confused.
I wouldn’t be here without my amazing team. From Derek and Manny doing their crazy coding, Janette making the app through her amazing design skills, Robert helping with the business portion of the idea and Cannon, I wouldn’t have gotten pass the next round without his awesome personality and loudness.
I can’t express my gratitude towards you guys… you are all amazing and really inspire me to do better and be better. I hope I can all make you proud one day.