I got a staff email the other day asking for volunteers for this thing called Startup Weekend. A chance to pitch and maybe even get off the ground, your business idea. I thought it might be fun so I put my name out there. WOW!! I have written that finding GOOD courses on Financial stuff are hard to find. Startup weekend is one of the very best events/training experiences I have ever seen.
Right from the beginning the atmosphere is fun and friendly. This is Not a sit back and take notes type of experience. This is a get in, roll up your sleeves, and get sharing event. Because you have 54 hours to take a business idea, to a sales pitch and broad strokes business plan. By Sunday evening you will be pitching your company to a Dragons Den style group of judges. Winners move on to the next round, and can, at the end, get real funding for their business.
I was hooked on this event right after the first person presented their idea. The number, diversity, and quality of the ideas was amazing. Canada should be the richest country on earth, because of all the people with great business ideas. So why isn’t it. Because like every idea person there; They don’t know how to move from idea to a business. Enter the coaches and mentors. Real people, with real business experience, to help. I know of few places where you can get the benefit of guidance, advice, and know how, from a variety of people who have actually started, and run a business all in one place.
Since the time frame is compressed into just one weekend, not every idea gets to the next step. After hearing the ideas, the group (not the coaches and mentors) vote on what they feel are the top ideas. The choice is difficult. At our event, I am glad I didn’t have to choose. There was not a bad idea in the room. Once the ideas have been chosen, the participants split up into groups of 3 to 5 to begin the job of getting the idea, to a business presentation.
Now the learning takes place at full speed. The energy in the room is super charged. Ideas and suggestions are flying, mentors are guiding and answering questions, potential customers are being called to do market research. Value Propositions are being analysed, revisions are being made as new information comes up. It is just fantastic. I learned a ton of stuff. Not just from the other mentors, but from the participants.
Reality however, does lurk in the corner. What if your idea is chosen, but the research shows, it just might not be as marketable as it appears? It is devastating to the person! But is it a good thing in the long run? The answer is yes. In this forum, it has cost you nothing but the tuition. In real life, this might have cost you thousands of dollars to find out. Or maybe, this idea is still a good idea, and can be successful, but on a smaller scale using a different approach. In our case, the mentors came up with a viable way to market the idea, in a different way, with a different strategy, and generate $300 to $500 a month in sales. Not enough to justify a large business, but a very nice residual monthly income. So still a great outcome.
These events are held once a year all over the globe. They are an incredible way to Learn, Network, and Discover. You will definitely make new friends, and it will help you with one of the toughest parts of Wealth Accumulation. Associating with LIKE MINDED PEOPLE. The event is not free, it shouldn’t be. It is too valuable. Ours cost only $100.00. Out of that money you get 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners. If you ate out all weekend, I bet you would spend more than $100.00. So I guess the event is technically Free.
I can’t wait to get back there today for the final presentations. It has been an exciting weekend, and a great learning experience for me. I recommend it very highly.