I attended Startup Weekend Toronto this past weekend.
Startup Weekend is a convergence developers, designers, and marketers converge in cities around the world to take a startup from idea to launch within 54 hours. Ie. A weekend of insanity.
Here’s what happened (I’ll comment on what I learned in a follow up post)
Hundreds of people gathered (sweat) in a tight muggy room
Networking ensued. Some people already had teams and projects ready to go, others had no clue what they had signed up for.
After some speeches on getting stuff done, 80 or so people were given 60 seconds to pitch a fresh startup idea
I pitched an idea I came up with the night before that could compliment our unstash collaborative consumption startup.
Pitches were voted upon and to my shock my idea was selected (I was planning on sitting in on another team to learn how they worked – I pitched mostly to just get myself out there)
Rapid teaming followed while I missed the boat still confused. There were teams of over 20, we had 4.
Massive brainstorming was underway with every team – competition filled the air
I got home at 3am exhausted to get back up at 7am to get at it.
Saturday was a heads down work day for most. An endless supply of food was catered in all weekend.
Our group was in-and-out all day with mishaps and other obligations (including myself, again I really wasn’t planning on leading a team and had the afternoon/evening booked).
Our team continued connecting online late into the evening, but suffered an intense blowout as we butted heads on how we’d implement our idea.
By Sunday morning we had to part ways with a team member (amicably), another was sick, and it was a mad scramble to make the most of what we had.
We made a number of key decisions, integrated customer validation data, built a vision of the product, formed some partnerships, designed a business model, and prepared to deliver the final pitch.
I love this statement in a techvibes article that covered the event: “On the third day you either created your product, fought with a line of code that simply refused to work or cried in the corner as you watched your start up dreams get crushed.”
19 exhausted, nerve-wracked teams presented their offspring for the weekend in front of their peers and a panel of judges/venture capital groups. Every team, seriously, did an amazing job.
After-party was at the Drake, the food was amazing.
Awards were announced, and shocked once again, our tiny team of two had won the 2nd runner up award!
That’s our story, and that was the birth of reputate.me