Lessons Learned from Startup Weekend Global Organizers Summit


March 8th, 2012 marked my first Startup Weekend Global Organizers Summit, I took so many notes in this one day event I don’t know how to put them into a blog post! So I’m just gonna type everything up and share it with you all! (Midway through writing this, I realized I should probably put this on Google Docs and set it to public, so that all of you at SWOS 2012 can add your notes to it!) Also, this is purely my notes from the Startup Weekend Global Organizers Summit 2012. If you’re looking for my SXSW related posts, check out Me Being Awesome at SXSW 2012, Storified! and 5 Things You Can Do to Increase Your Startup’s Exposure at a Big Event.

# Bo Fishback – Zaarly

* Was president of Kauffman Laboratories for Enterprise Creation, didn’t understand what’s so special about Startup Weekend
* Didn’t plan to go but ended up pitching & winning at Startup Weekend LA, quitting his awesome job to run Zaarly!
* Friend in banking pitched to him with a long executive biz plan of what was Zaarly! Bo was like, “Wait… That’s Zaarly!” but his friend was like “But it’s different.” So Bo just told him to go to a Startup Weekend!
* The friend was texting Bo excitedly before going up to pitch, and then afterwards he said “I was shit, my idea didn’t get picked.” So within 1 minute, he got the feedback for the bad idea he had worked on for months!
* Zaarly gave 2% share to Startup Weekend!

# Startup Weekend Cairo

* 1500 applicants
* Revolution and the change of the status quo
* Rise of Egyptian youth
* Joint campaign with TEDxCairo to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit

# Greg Gottesman – Madrona Venture Group

* Startup Weekend is like crack, once people get a taste, they get hooked
* Teaches Startup Weekend in his class in UW, transformed the classroom!

# Kristjan Freyr Kristjansson – SW Iceland

* Startup Weekend is the best thing that has ever happened to people with ideas!
* Created Startup Weekend marathon – A Startup Weekend is never more than a month away.
* President of Iceland came to 2 Startup Weekends!!
* Vision: Every person in Iceland needs to know about Startup Weekend, and every school student needs to go through Startup Weekend at least once!

# Kyle Kesterson – Giant Thinkwell

* Rise of the Designer
* Lack of design talents in Startup Weekend
* Designers’ mental model – Like to work for big agencies, dislike being freelance
* To appeal to designers, let them know they are here to lead! Not just to help others with designs
* Collaborate with others to create ideas, do design thinking, solve problems
* Startup Weekend needs their creative mindsets
* Get designers to sell tickets to more designers for a discount
* Get sponsors from design companies (and get their designers to come!)
* Film promo documentary by following a designer throughout an entire weekend
* Read [Does your startup need a designer co‒founder?](http://www.designstaff.org/articles/does-your-startup-need-a-design-co-founde… by Enrique Allen, founding member of Designer Fund and 500 Startups
* Remove the risk of “free work”
* Seattle Students R&D (makers)

# Do These at Next SWHK!

* Watch Steve Blank’s Customer Developer video – Assign CD Leader
* Assign Project Management Leader
* Coaches instead of mentors – Participate the whole weekend
* Get 2 interesting speakers – TEDx tie-in
* Get **GOOD FOOD!!!**
* Sunday night flowers for spouses
* Strong organizing teams
* Event management to-dos
* Ops team check out @doteyes (Use music to time events)
* Bring back strong leaders to run teams
* Pre-event (Alumni night, GTUG)
* Move Sunday night pitches to a bar, expand to 500 audiences
* Animoto
* Calendar for organizers
* T-shirts for coaches, and then for attendees afterwards
* Have female coaches and judges bring in female participants

# SW Next

* An event after Startup Weekend to stress test the teams!
* Help make stronger, enduring teams
* You don’t really know the people you worked with in a Startup Weekend
* It’s all about the team! e.g. Cloudmine found 2/3 of its co-founders in SW, even though they didn’t work together in the same teams

# Intellectual Properties

* Don’t talk to lawyers, don’t over complicate
* Hold weekly meeting s for a month
* People will find out what they wanna do
* IPs coming out of a Startup Weekend is worthless, e.g. the Zaarly idea has been pitched over 20 times at events everywhere, but none succeeded! It’s the team that counts!
* Don’t worry about equity, just set milestones, people will weed themselves out
* Press milestones
* Ayloo.net

# Sponsors

* Ask them what’s their company’s goals
* e.g. Design companies have designers but want developers

# How to Promote

* Cap the ticket low, let the wait list grow and release fix strategically (only to good people)
* Interview your coaches and post up blog / videos before event
* Then, after event, interview a few participants



Just another guy trying to beat the system and be released from the Matrix http://about.me/nicholaswang

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