5 September 2013

A different kind of a week end...

How to find real life learning, with an authentic purpose, in a supportive, energetic environment, where collaboration and competition keep momentum, curiosity and drive going?
How to test what I can add to a team of people I don't know, in an unknown setting with an unknown challenge?
I have signed up for Tauranga StartUp Weekend•, a 54hr "learning curve" where up to 80 people from various professional backgrounds (tech, design, marketing, entrepreuneurs...) get together to form/join a team on an idea that is pitched on the first night, build a viable business, convince investors.
This is going to be a little... "uncomfortable"!

So what shall I take with me to "pad the ride?"
- a bit of tech end user experience,
- some facilitation skills
- a burgeoning understanding of the Design Thinking mindset (I'll have to tell you about that as I am putting this in real time practice for ThinkAgency!)
- my ability to generate ideas
- a capacity to look for, find and analyse relevant information
- my "to do" list obsession
- an aptitude to look for "work arounds"
- all that the world of teaching and learning has armed me with: patience, stayability, keeping things simple, working with others, curiosity, solving problems... will all this come handy?
- an open mind, ready to fill the kete!
- my brand new phone (again!) my laptop, my chargers.

And here is what I shall leave behind:
- preconceived ideas
- fear of the unknown
- feeling overwhelmed in front of awesomeness
- worry that I will be out of my depth.

So will I pitch on the night or what? One minute to convince an audience that your idea is worth spending time and energy on? It has got to be done.

About Startup Weekend: Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs.  Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations.  Participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurials. The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education.  Whether you are looking for feedback on a idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.

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