As an organizer for the next Startup Weekend in Chicago, I’m passionate about bringing together people from a wide array of different backgrounds to support them in building great things.
If you can imagine being able to take a great idea and spin it around into actionable next steps towards a viable business within 54 hours, you’d be excited too.
SW is a way for like minded individuals to take their ideas and turn it into action. Startup Weekend’s mantra is “No Talk, All Action.” And I think that should be the motto for just about everything within the start-up ecosystem.
The intense 54 hour event focuses on building a web or mobile application which could form the basis of a credible business, over the course of a weekend. It brings together people with different skillsets – primarily, but not exclusively – software developers, graphic designers and business people to build applications and develop a commercial case around them.
It’s simple. You show up, pitch your idea, and then form teams with a combination of developers, designers, marketers, project managers, or whatever else you need to make your idea work. Then go to work. Come Sunday night, participants showcase their prototypes to a panel of judges. You’ll have four minutes to explain what you’ve done all weekend and answer Q&A from the judges. After the pitches, a winner is declared.
I’ve always been a connector and I love serving as a matchmaker for businesses, but this is connecting to the core. Some might feel out of place in the unknown, or about working with strangers, or not having something prepared on arrival, but take it from me: that’s the best part.
What lies ahead is really cool.
You could potentially meet someone for the first time who shares the same interests as you, and wants to solve the same problem as you, and accomplish the same goals as you. That’s what I find most interesting. The synergistic possibilities. It brings a whole new meaning to connecting.
People come to learn new skills, build relationships with amazing like-minded, smart people, and be a part of the Chicago start-up ecosystem. It’s about finding community.
I think it’s awesome that there will be a winner who builds an attractive product, but community is what’s most important. This is for the city of Chicago. I don’t want what happens during that weekend to only last 54 hours.
There’s a good chance you’ll meet your potential co-founder. I hope the attendees will cultivate serious relationships and want to continue to work on things together, solve problems, and make a powerful impact in Chicago’s tech scene far beyond the weekend.
You’ll learn more than you have during any other weekend in your life. So, come to the table. Hope to see you there.
The next Startup Weekend Chicago takes place June 1-3, at the Illinois Technology Association. Register now to join the madness and use code SWTECHNORI for 20% off!