Well I’m finally recovered from StartUp Weekend Limerick……only kidding but it did take it out of everyone who took part and organised it. I previously blogged about why I was going to this event that over the weekend took place in countries all over the world. After all was said and done Im glad to say that I would recommend anyone with an interest in business who has an idea they have always wanted to try out to definitely go to one. There are four key lessons I learned from taking part in Startup Weekend Limerick
1. You CAN create a business over 54 hours
It is pretty surprising what can be done over the course of the weekend. From the Friday evening when people are pitching their idea to Sunday afternoon when they were pitching their business to potential investors a businesses can be created. Normally the journey for a startup can be difficult and long, however all those obstacles are removed, think of it as businesses on speed. If you have an idea and want to test out how it will go an event like this is the perfect place to test it and see how it works.
2. You get to network on a grand scale
Generally networking is an event that follows this pattern:
- You go to a hotel/conference centre
- You talk to as many people as possible in a few hours
- You swap businesses cards until you have a terrific collection
- You leave and will follow up with certain people
I’m not trying to downplay networking events, from my experience this is normally what happens. With an event like a startup weekend there is one big difference:
It’s over a weekend
Over 60 people participated in Limerick and the great thing was that there was plenty of time to get around to everyone. You can talk to them, learn what they do and you can connect with them both in person and online instead of rushing around to make sure you talk with the people you aimed to connect with. At the same time there were mentors there throughout the weekend who gave their time to help the potential startups and gave some great advice and feedback. As a result you were able to create contacts with people who are on your level but also some of the top people in the country.
— Exceleratesw (@ExcelerateSw) April 11, 2015
3. You see all different areas of business
The people who took part at StartUp Weekend could be divided into reds, blues, greens and oranges. To begin with the groups stayed much the same. This changed however when people joined their respective teams. For me it was really interesting to see all the different areas that we’re involved in getting a business from an idea being pitched on a Friday to a viable idea. The team I was involved with had a great mix of technical people who knew the ins and outs of design and graphics but it also had people who had experience in business of getting things off the ground. At these weekends you get to see areas of business that you may overlook from being in one department or having to do everything yourself. As for my role in the group, well lets just say my phone nearly went into meltdown from how much I was using it to get word out about the business idea I was working on.
4. You challenge your skills
This weekend was one of the biggest challenges of my skills. The main reason being that you’re aiming to get as much done as possible IN 3 DAYS. I would also look at such an event as being brilliant to test your skills and see what’s working and what isn’t. Look for feedback from others, you could be really surprised at what you learn about yourself. For me the three days really tested my skills at getting word out (marketing on real time) as I connected with people as far away as the US to help and advice. It also tested my skills at working in a team as one of the most important things needed to do well at such an event is to get everyone on the same hymn sheet as early as possible.
Go and Experience Startup Weekend
These are just some of the things that I learned from my first startup weekend. My advice to anyone thinking of going to such an event would be this:
Go, have an open mind, learn as much and connect with as many people as possible.
If you have any questions please leave a comment or follow on Twitter. If you want to find out more about future events watch this space……