Why I'm going to Boulder Startup Weekend

I'm really excited to be signed up for Boulder Startup Weekend on Nov 13-15. Startup Weekends are an absolutely amazing way to get your feet wet in the entreprenurial world, and one of my favorite events. It's been a long time since we've had one in Boulder, so I'm especially excited to see it happening.

One of the best things about Startup Weekends is that everyone is welcome, and everyone is valuable. The best events are filled not only with tech people, but also with non-technical people who know their own domain (whatever that is) really well, and are coming to solve a problem. Some people in the room will have years of experience in many startups, and others may just be curious about the startup scene that's so pervasive in Boulder. The mixture of both makes for an exceptional, fun event.

If you haven't ever been to one, here's how it works: Everyone mingles and gets to know each other, then the subset of people who came with an idea of what they want to build "pitch" their ideas to the crowd. It's ok if you don't have an idea for a team - I won't either. The crowd votes on all the ideas, then the top voted ideas move on and teams form around them. If you pitch an idea that isn't selected, I'd urge you to stay and join another project for the weekend. The end result is the least valuable part of SWs, the experience is what makes it special.

Over the weekend, we'll do everything that normally takes place in the first few months of a startup: interview customers, build an MVP ("Minimally Viable Product"), get traction, and then pitch to "investors." It's crazy, hectic, entertaining, and exhausting, and I always come away more enthusiastic about startups than ever.

Those of you who know me might find it strange that I'm going to BSW as an attendee. After all, my "day job" is running 9-1-1 Labs, a company that helps entrepreneurs build their MVPs and launch their companies. For fun outside of work, I do a lot of mentoring of startups around town, especially at the University. But that's part of what makes the weekend so much fun. It's 54 hours separate from all those things, where I can focus on a single idea and follow it through from beginning to end. (Well, if it turns out really well, Sunday night might not be the end, but we'll cross that bridge if we come to it.)

So if you have an idea that you're just dying to explore - or if you have no idea if this startup thing is for you at all, there's no better way to spend a weekend than attending this event. I hope to see you there!


Edited: August 30, 2016

That startup weekend is long since over, but there's another one coming up soon! Check it out!