Over the past weeks I’ve had lots of questions asked about the event. Most I’ve been able to answer, some I haven’t. The main three questions I’m hearing and getting messages about are 1) Is the event tech Focused? 2) What can I expect and 3) what’s the deal with I.P?
I hope this answers your questions…
Is the Event Tech Focused? – No, we’ve had pillow companies come out of Startup Weekend! It is true that the majority of the startups are web related but you’re encouraged to bring anything you want to tinker with. If you can get the proper permits for dynamite to demo a new blasting company we’re all for it! You’re encouraged to work on that new biomedical startup or anything else. Keep in mind we won’t have the microscopes but you sure can bring them!
What can I expect? – On Friday night people pitch their ideas. There can be as few as 10 pitches or as many as 100, we keep on pitching until everyone is done! We do a simple vote of everyone’s favorite 2 or 3 to narrow down the ideas by about 3/4. Individuals then gather around the remaining ideas to discuss feasibility, and identify what they need as far as skill sets and resources to get to work. People are free to work on any idea that interests them that they feel they will have a value add for. If you find yourself feeling lost or feel you can’t contribute, then join a team and be a sponge for the weekend. There is a lot to learn and 99.9% of the people that attend Startup Weekend are great people and will teach you a thing or two if you show the interest.
What if I’m worried about my idea being stolen? – If you have a great idea you might be concerned about protecting it! Here is what we recommend in that case. Odds are your idea is GREAT but you still need help from other professionals or are looking for another co-founder to launch it. I recommend that you come to the event, don’t pitch the idea or if you do, pitch a very small chunk of it. Then ask people that are interested in learning more to find you and have a conversation with you to discuss it further. It is perfectly ok to guard your idea and share it with select people during the weekend once you have gotten to know them better. You are encouraged to discuss working on your great idea either during or after the weekend. Think of yourself as being a talent scout looking for the smartest people to potentially work with. This is a powerful component of the event, people form powerful lasting professional relationships and friendships at these events and often times will work on projects that are unrelated to projects that were started at the Startup Weekend event. This is a good thing! We want to help you find co-founders in your community!