Sunday, October 28, 2012

Startup Weekend : From Participant to Organizer

The last one year has been a very exciting year for me in terms of learning and growing. In September 2011 I signed up as a participant for Startup Weekend the first time it was conducted in Hyderabad and since then I have volunteered at Startup Weekend events in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi and have become an organizer at Startup Weekend Hyderabad and we are about to conduct the third event in the city which is going to be part of the Global Startup Battle.

What is it about Startup Weekend?  It all starts off with the event itself - the event is in a format that facilitates one to learn in multiple levels. One learns from the speakers, getting inspired by them from what they have achieved and then from the mentors who guide and advice the participants until their ideas start to make good business sense and finally the participants who come from very diverse backgrounds with whom relationships form that carry on well past the event.

The event itself is very unstructured with a greater focus on execution than on theory. Its all about taking an idea that starts off just as a thought and converting it into something real that can be shown to end customer at the end of 54 hours. The beauty of the event is that one can try out their plans and thoughts with no fear of failure. You get the practice and the confidence to be able to pitch your idea in less than a minute in a manner that is able to grab the attention of the audience. There is a great focus on idea validation, execution and presentation.

As a volunteer and an organizer I want to give this experience to as many participants as I can since this is a wonderful way to learn and explore about entrepreneurship in a risk free manner. In order to become an entrepreneur there are a few fundamental activities such as how to validate the idea, build the business model, ability to market convincingly and clearly, working with a team and presenting the idea in a compelling manner to investors and customers. All of these activities can be done on the weekend.

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