Today’s post is basically a plug for one of my favorite reoccurring events besides EDC: Startup Weekend. Watch the video above for an intro to SW if you aren’t familiar. Here are the top reasons you MUST attend SW if you have an idea you’d like to pursue farther than telling it to your mom.
Why Attend A Startup Weekend:
1. Incredible Networking opportunities
SW usually has an even ratio of developers/programmers/designers and marketers/biz dev/idea people. This means that whatever team you decide to join, you’re going to meet driven, entrepreneurial, and highly talented people who paid to spend their weekend working with you on your team. After working with these people for 54 hours straight, you’re going to get to know them and they could potentially become life-long friends or even co-founders. Not to mention all the other people not on your team, and all of the coaches, mentors, and judges that you’ll have an entire weekend to network with.
2. Learn How To Actually Launch A Business
If you’ve never started a company or created product before, SW is the perfect place to do it. You literally have all the resources you need at your disposal: talented people with varying skills and backgrounds, mentors and coaches, wi-fi, and unlimited coffee and Red Bull. You will learn what it actually takes to validate your idea, come up with a realistic business model, and build a minimal viable product (MVP) using LEAN startup practices. You’ll literally learn more in a weekend than in any of your semester long business classes, you can quote me on that.
3. Education Through Mentorship & Coaching
One great thing about SW is that there are always coaches around to help you out when your team needs it. The coaches are always people from the community who have entrepreneurial backgrounds or run successful companies themselves. The time you get with these coaches can be invaluable in terms of what you learn from them and what they can add to your ideas.
4. Free Food & Drinks
As a starving entrepreneur myself, I still love free food. SW always includes around six free meals with the purchase of your ticket, and it’s usually catered by local restaurants so it’s really good food! Plus, as long as the venue approves it, SW usually includes a good amount of free alcohol as well. If you’re not down to get a buzz on while you create the next Facebook, there’s always unlimited coffee and energy drinks to keep you going too.
Overall, my opinion is that SW is a MUST attend event if you’re a young entrepreneur, if you have an idea you’d like to see come to life, or even if you just want to experience something new and meet some amazing people. So, tell your friends you won’t be going out this weekend *gasp* because you’re going to spend it doing something that’s actually productive and could change your life forever. Find the next event here.