Why should We as Business Owners nurture Startup Weekend?
Before I put my opinions in this regard, I wish to clarify my stand as “being neutral to any specific brand of events”. I have been associating with several global movements which nurture the concept of free, creative, leadership and entrepreneurial thinking, which is the ultimate requirement of today, and therefore I have closely seen how these movements do their own bit in achieving what they propose.
However, personally I have been an admirer of this great global movement. This event has the potential to bring the best and the most influential heads together for creating one, unified ecosystem which works for the benefit of everyone associated with it. While I was in Visakhapatnam, we all dreamt of one, unified ecosystem for achieving exponential progress for the ecosystem and the startups associated with it. When I moved to Hyderabad, I actually saw one.
We are currently emerging from a “period of pure instincts” to a “period of data”. In this period, we cannot depend completely on the knowledge we possess. The biggest knowledge we can possess today is to appreciate, understand and utilize external data for our business purposes. Today we do not completely depend on our linear business interests. Instead, we attempt forging every possible relationship with our local ecosystem so that we can build new avenues of our business on those relations.
Now, what does Startup Weekend do? The concept of this event is really simple. If you have a vague business idea, which you think to be capable of becoming a great business, you can just walk in [though not literally], pitch in front of others, and form a team in a really democratic way [yes, through votes]. For the entire next day, you work with industry experts, business leaders and general public, and get your plans validated. Then comes the D-day, i.e., Sunday, in which you prepare your final pitch and then present in front of the judges. Now, the judges might select the top three ideas and a publicly popular idea and entitle them to the prizes, however, still when you have a team, and a business plan ready, aren’t you already ready to set out on your own journey?
Now, how does it benefit us as business owners? Firstly, we get to interact with you, and see your ways of thinking. We have been doing our business according to the trends we have seen to be latest, but times change, and so do trends, AND THE CHANGE IN THE TREND, WHICH WE SEE, IS FOOD [DATA] TO US. Secondly, it would be more apt to say that we own a product or a service, which could be deeply relevant to your business, or even your team. That we can give off to you, as a sponsorship to the event, which then provides you with what we have provided. When your business succeeds with our products or services, it is a story we build with you, together. And that’s how we build a unified, consolidated ecosystem.
And, therefore, I personally encourage companies to go forward. If you as a business owner like this event, always make it a point that you ask for some discounted/free tickets in lieu of the sponsorships. You can send your employees to the event, who attend the event, and form a business [anyways people do not stick to one employment today]. You can create success stories around your product and still stay assured that after all, your employees are using that. This can be another way of internal branding of your product or service.