This is gonna be a post about my time at Startup Weekend Toronto. It was a roller coaster, full of intense coding by some stellar devs and validation and consultations by the biz dudes. It was a weekend where I met many passionate and talented people. I wondered what I possibly had to offer any of these teams. So let’s go:
Day 1 = FRACK!
This was the most stressful day for the entire weekend because I was thinking about pitching my idea to reimagine what a forum or message board is for today’s world. I have thought about it for a while but wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to put it out there on Friday.
When I got there the room quickly filled to the brim, so much so that the temperature rose by several degrees by night’s end. For this type of affair you worry about the food but I have to say the catering, snacks and everything else was great. I specially loved the pop chips chairs that were sitting in the back by the windows.
I knew I wasn’t ready to pitch my forum idea and maybe I should have just watched the show but it was great to do it because it will be great practice for next time. This will make it easier to have my game face on to pitch my forum idea or another in the weeks or months to come.
I created a bucket list for all those ideas you think about but then dismiss out of hand because of Startup Weekend. You never know when they could become useful. So I recommend everyone have their lists “just in case.”
While in line I was writing out points that I was going to say but when I got up there I didn’t even use them. I spoke fast and furious like and I sounded like an idiot. You see all the people and your heart is beating 100 miles s minute an before it you knew it, it was over. I had no idea what I said and next time I am going to have fun with it, just chill back relax and not worry about whether my idea gets chosen or not.
The goal in a 1 minute pitch is to make sure they remember you because there are too many pitches for anyone to remember and they come and go so fast. They are looking for fun, sexy ideas and there are is definitely a peeking order to the ideas that will rise to the top. No matter how good the idea if you can’t make a case for it in a way they will remember then you will probably be out of luck.
All and all pitching was great practice and I know that this time will set me up for when I have to pitch again to someone else and at the next Startup Weekend where I will make it my mission to make it into the top 20.
The thing is after pitching your mind goes into a “what did I do” zone so you have no clue what else is going on. I heard some of the pitches but I was so focused on my own even after I was done that I only caught a few. The ones that most stood out were the Laugh button, Code with Friends, and a couple others.
Then the top 20 were chosen and it was time to find a team. because I was still recovering from my pitch. When I wa going around the the ideas that were building teams 2 stood out, the laugh button which I mentioned earlier and Unbox which was beautiful inforgraphics for your inbox.
Alex the Unbox dude had amassed quite a team when I started talking to him and his cohorts. The reason I decided on Unbox was because Alex and co. had such great energy that I had to say yes too. I have a lot of infographics on my computer and I am a data whore, I made my CV into an infographic for god’s sake, well before visualize.me was around. So I thought it was the perfect fit.
I wondered what I would do being on such a large team but looking back I had a blast but that first night was a roller coaster from fear to fallout and then getting it together and joining another ride. I was so glad to meet everyone but I knew that after the teams were amassed the real work would begin and not so much for me but for the developers who would make magic happen with keyboards and code.
I will say after doing Startup Weekend I know that a startup is one of the top places I would like to be, what can I say I like wearing many hats and being around the coders like these who are full of win.