The entire concept behind Startup Weekend is absurd, really, really absurd.
Think about it… gather a room full of strangers of various background and interests, supply food and drinks and let them share their business idea and see what they can accomplish from Friday until Sunday. Pepper in some education components and pressure in the form of guidance from mentors and coaches and remind participants they have to share how much progress they made to a group of seasoned business professionals. Participants walk away and some continue building their concepts, refining and getting past the idea stage into a real business with potential to generate jobs, spur innovation and change someone’s career path.
Oh, and people pay to do this or support the event as a sponsor!
I’ve done it. Lots of my friends have participated. I’ve been the guide through about 50 of these events in 7 countries. For free.
On July 7, 2007 in Boulder, Colorado, a young guy had this absurd idea and willpower to pull it off. The format has been slightly tweaked as more than 350,000 budding entrepreneurs through 4,500 events in over 150 countries! These community events are also supported by over 10,000 volunteers. This ringleader, cheerleader and genuine man is Andrew Hyde.
- To Andrew, THANK YOU for having an absurd idea and bringing it to the world.
- To those that have participated, thank you for trying a new experience.
- To the sponsors, coaches, mentors and partners, we couldn’t help seed ideas, support networking and build confidence without you.
- To the volunteer leaders who give their time, talent, connections (and sometimes funds) to bring the event to their community — your efforts are appreciated, keep up the great work!
- To the regional managers (current and past) and support staff, thank you for supporting us to build our communities, linking us and sometimes humoring oddballs like me with great experiences around the world.
- To those that have yet to join us on the journey — find one to attend or host an event in your community.
- To Startup Weekend — Happy 10th Anniversary! Here’s to the next absurd idea!
So what’s your absurd idea to share and bring to the world as something new (business, personal, travel)?