By now you know that Startup Weekend is a 54-hour roller coaster of pitching, developing, and presenting to get your idea heard or your skills sharpened. Some of you may be thinking, “this is just for fun, I doubt anything will come of it.” If this is you, the first part of that thought is spot on. The talented people you will work with, mentors you’ll learn from, and the intriguing, disruptive, and sometimes entertaining ideas you’ll hear are all cause for a seriously good time. But if you’re thinking that this isn’t a real opportunity to move a concept forward, think again.
In fact, I myself am a testament to that. After pitching at Startup Weekend DC in April, 2014, I found myself with $25,000 in development services to build the MVP, a great co-founder, and three months of in-kind office space to jump-start the idea. My story and the startup, Orate, are still in their nascent, but there are many others who have gone on to build their companies and make their dreams a reality. Below are a few of them:
- LaunchRock – LaunchRock transpired at Startup Weekend Philadelphia in 2011. The company initially focused on assisting startups in creating launch pages to acquire users. The company was acquired by Fundable.com and has now expanded to offering broader relationship building tools.
- CloudMine – Cloudmine also came out of Startup Weekend Philadelphia in 2011. CloudMine provides a cloud-based Enterprise Mobility Platform that allows companies to take disparate data sets and leverage them through mobile, web and custom APIs.
- Zaarly – Zaarly was pitched at Startup Weekend L.A. in 2011 as a proximity- based, real-time, buyer-powered market platform. The company now focuses on house-cleaning, handyman, and lawn care services.
- Foodspotting — Foodspotting was pitched at the 2009 Women 2.0 Startup Weekend event in San Francisco. The platform is the first mobile app for finding and rating food dishes.
There you have it folks. It could happen anywhere and during Startup Weekend Denver, it could happen to you. This is your weekend so bring your A-game, a collaborative spirit, and be ready for just about anything.