Five questions about Startup Weekend

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From May 10th to the 12th of the current year I will be volunteering as a technology coach in the next entry of Startup Weekend Fintech so I wanted to write a little bit about it.

What is Startup Weekend Fintech?

Startup Weekend is an event, kind of like a hackathon, where you get to develop a business idea from nothing to MVP and pitch it in 54 hours. Startup Weekend Fintech is the same but for business ideas related to Financial Technologies.

The event is not free and I do not get any sorts of commissions from tickets sales. The cost is about US$15 per participant and you get food for three days, a nice badge, a shirt and a gift bag with useful stuff.

Who should participate?

Anyone with curiosity on how to mix businesses and technology. The technology of business is the business of the future.

In my previous experiences, too few developers participate in SWFintech, maybe it is the name or something but, if you are a developer I want to encourage you to participate. If you are one of the lucky few this will probably make you realize the value you can have, if it happens that there are lots of developers you may realize the number of people who may think like you.

Why should you participate?

Back in 2015, feels like ages ago

Back in 2015 I participated and won on another Startup Weekend. That time was Startup Weekend Education. The people I met back then and the things I’ve learned from the experience are invaluable and it is my hope that you get the same out of the experience.

If you have a Fintech idea that you haven’t started and you want an excuse to start working on it, this is the perfect chance to validate and learn how to prepare a pitch for that or any other future idea.

What’s the catch?

I’m going to be blunt, even if you win the Startup Weekend, the chances are you are not going to be the next Mark Zuckerberg or the next Bill Gates or Peter Thiel. According to some tales, 9 out of 10 startups fail within the first 18 months, this may sound or even be a little bit hyperbolic but the point is that from the start the odds are going to be against you. Most successful businesses are made by people who probably knew each other for quite a while before starting a business together and have some level of cohesion and similar values. You may find your matching team and everything can be great but time will always tell.

My reason for saying all this is that you shouldn’t feel bad if your idea doesn’t work, you will learn a lot of useful information during the event and will probably meet a lot of smart people with whom you can build relationships and then, maybe, even make real businesses not related to the idea you went with.

Part of the reason behind these kind of events is to prepare you for the future, this is an opportunity to train your conflict resolution skills and your decision making skills.

How do you prepare?

  • Be well rested when you arrive
  • Eat well
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Think of possible ideas and write them down
  • Do not have your idea implemented
  • Do not go with a team, part of the fun is networking and getting out of your comfort zone. You can bring friends but avoid being on the same team.
  • Leave your ego outside
  • Remember the clock is ticking
  • Get your ticket here

If you think someone may be interested but not convinced send them this article and let’s hope for the best. I hope you go and if you do say hi and good luck.

Did you like the post and Wanna leave a reply? You can mention me on twitter @eatskolnikov so we can have a conversation about it

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