The last two Startup Weekends I took part in had no videos, so it’s great to see an overview video of this year to better explain what Startup Weekend is. Many seem to be confused when I explain what it is, but now you get to see the setting it took place in and how every project was graded. I look forward to see the 3 winning projects flourish to become businesses one day.
If you’ve guys been reading my blog for well over a year you’ll know that I participated in Startup Weekend 2013. I’m not going to explain what Startup Weekend is in detail as I’ve already done that last year but I’ll summarise. Group of people gather up, some people pitch an idea, other people join their team and work endlessly throughout the weekend to get a prototype ready with a presentation.
By Saturday the presentation and prototype should be ready to pitch to a group of judges that will rate you based on different categories including how inclined they are to invest in your project if they were to. Last year my teams concept was to have a Diet App that allows you to pick a restaurant in Kuwait then pick which diet you’re going with and it will tell you what meal to order.
My team managed to get 2nd place last year, this year however I was aiming for 1st place with a new concept. After working day and night with a team of developers and a business developer I was ready to pitch our concept with a functional android app prototype, we got 1st place. Now that I got what I was aiming for I’ll probably be a mentor on the next Startup Weekend to help competing teams.
I won’t get into too much detail on our project because we are currently in the works of financing the whole thing and making an actual business out of it, something I’m excited about. It’s an app that allows you to browse, book and pay for specific locations in Kuwait. I’ll reveal the curtains once the app is launched and ready to be marketed.
I encourage everyone to join the next Startup Weekend, you get a super productive weekend, meet new people and learn a ton of information about financing a business, validating your customers, validating your features as well as pitching a great presentation in less than 5 minutes. These are the type of contests that everyone leaves a winner because everyone gains so much.
It’s also worth noting Startup Weekend is a worldwide event that takes place in over 50 countries including the GCC. It’s powered by Google and sponsored by Coca-Cola and Amazon. I noticed this year their were more ideas (31 pitched ideas in total) and more teams competing for the prizes, I’m expecting the next Startup Weekend to be bigger.
For those of you that remember, last year I joined the yearly Start Weekend event. I’ve written a thorough blog post about it I recommend you check out [here]. It’s a worldwide event that takes place in over 100 countries which involves developers, designers and entrepreneurs. If you have a skill that you think will help a startup then you’re eligible even if it’s non-technical.
Every one with an idea stands on stage and pitches his idea. After all the ideas have been pitched each person with an idea stands in a selected area where designers and developers approach ideas they liked and ask if they can join the team. After teams have formed they have around 45 hours to work on their project.
The projects will be presented to a team of judges on Saturday. It’s best to at least have a working prototype of your project ready along with a presentation. Last year I went to the event to check it out, got so excited joined a team and got 2nd place. I’ve already signed up for this year, if I find an idea I like I will definitely join this year.
It was one of the most productive weekends I have ever had and I highly recommend people with skills to sign up. Not only will you get to meet new people, challenge yourself, and leave your comfort zone but you also learn a lot of financing a business and ways to monetize a business.
To sign up click [here]
- Date: Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 5:00 PM to Saturday, February 8, 2014 at 11:00 PM
- Location: Khaldiya, Kuwait University – College of Engineering
- Cost: Free