Community / Marketing / Startup

Start Up Weekend Vancouver After Math

I’m still recovering from this weekend. I took the Friday off before the event and realized at 6am Monday morning, trying to wake up for work, I made a huge mistake and should have taken the Monday off after the event.

I honestly didn’t think it would be that intense and sleep deprived. Now I know for future.

All and all, I loved Start Up Weekend. It was a great way to push yourself out of the box! Everyone there was very supportive, positive, and wonderful. The atmosphere was exciting and electrifying.

The food was provided by Food.ee – a local startup of course – and it was all so amazingly delicious and healthy. One worry I had was that the food might not be to my liking but it far exceeded my expectations.

All the organizer’s and volunteers did an amazing job – I didn’t see any glaring ‘opps!’ which means the behind the scenes and on site prep was really, really good to make it look so effortless. After helping to organize several Ubuntu Vancouver events, I really give kudos to the organizers because its damn hard work and you don’t get much Thanks.

Coaches were awesome! I don’t think that word is even good enough to explain how awesome they were! All their feedback and challenging questions, it really helps you to see your ‘problem’ from a variety of angles. That alone was worth the whole weekend.

Team Healing People Rocks!

Designer – E, Business Helper – M, Developer – R, without you, we would never have got it off the ground and ‘tested’. One of the coaches said we had one of the most ‘interesting’ team dynamics because we were all strong B Types. I know I sway closer to the A Type but I’m still a B ;) And he thought our team different because of our ‘chill vibe.’ We discussed, changed, listened, laughed, worked and worked some more. Everyone put in their all! I couldn’t have asked for a better team!

Sunday Night Pitch

Just an hour before pitch time, our team is still cleaning up and tweaking the presentation. I’m in the corner trying to slap together the ideas I’m going to say.

Just before entering the Auditorium, I run into a coach and the winner of last years start up weekend (Alexandra from My Best Helper) who asks, did you get a chance to practice your pitch to someone (ie.coach)? No, I say sheepishly. And she says, we are still waiting outside, I got for 4 mins do it now. I fumble with my notes, self-consciously realizing, I’m not well rehearsed or calm. I badly fumble the first 30secs of the pitch. She stops me and tells me, first, get rid of all your notes. You know this idea – you have lived it for 54hrs – this is your idea. Just tell your story and what you learned this weekend and you’ll do fine.

It was the best advice I could have gotten just minutes before presenting. I chucked my notes and ‘winged it.’ It certainly was not my most polished presentation but it was immensely better than what I had done earlier. I completely blanked out during Q &A. After the Q &A I thought, well my meditation teacher would be happy that I experienced ‘silence’ but I think the timing could have been a bit better. J

We didn’t place in the top 3 but we still won. The experience alone was a win.

Of all the advice the mentors gave me over the weekend there was one sentence that rang the loudest and truest. And that was: If you take away only one thing from this whole weekend, remember at the end of the day it’s the person with the most tenacity that ‘wins’.

(And he wasn’t talking about the Sunday Night Pitch.)

What’s next for me? Only time will tell…

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