I love @LuggageDonkey | Mom of 3 | Operator | Writer | #Startups | Chair of the U.S. Blockchain Coalition | @Cornell | Speak Truth
startup weekend story
My team won 1st place a few weeks ago at the Seattle Startup Weekend: Seattle ReDesign hackathon.
One of the most awesome weekends I've had in a long time. The team, such a super special team with awesome people. My husband was cheering me on every inch of the way, he's such a gift every day I get to be married to him.
The semi-short version of the story:
Well... I've gotten restless with my career/work again. We saw the hint of it in a prior post. I saw this article and wanted to potentially sign up to be one of the startup women organizers in the Seattle area. One of the prerequisites is to do a Startup Weekend - and so, that's what I did, signed up for it.
Friday, March 21 came along, and it was going to be the first day of 3 for Startup Weekend. I woke up and told my husband that I might just wing it and pitch an idea that he and I have both been stewing on for many years now. The world of gifting has not been solved, and we still had this haunch that we were closer to solving it than others that have tried. Friday 6PM - I'm going to pitch it and see what happens. (1) About 50 people line up to pitch their ideas. We have only 1 minute to that. (2) Then post-its are handed out and we need to collect votes from everyone in the room. I and about 9 others make the cut. (3) Then we have about 15 seconds to reiterate or mini-pitch our ideas. (4) then we literally have maybe 5, maybe 10 minutes to find our team for the weekend. I haven't worked w anyone in the room before. ... (5) Luckily, my team chooses me: 1 marketing guy, 2 designers, and 2 developers. Amazing. We spent Friday night getting to know each other, talking about the business idea, etc...
Saturday, we cranked like crazy. We were still forming and figuring out how to work with each other. We had a slight pivot Saturday morning. We called up people for quotes and validation. We were fighting the other teams for mentoring sessions with the advisors (some we didn't even get to see). By Saturday night, we were really really beat. We had questions about how our technical architecture was going to work. We spent hours drawing up the customer flows and the technical flows on the whiteboard. We had questions about what our focus should be - there were so many options and paths we could take. We felt slightly hopeless like this was going to be really hard to get done by Sunday. ... Sunday morning, we dragged our tired beat bodies and brains in. We regrouped and strategized the game plan for the day. Everyone was scurrying and busy typing away. I had drafted up a presentation deck - the designers had a deck, we had to merge the presentation stories. The developers and designers were making the final touches to our live product demo. Starting at about 3PM, we started running the rehearsal of the 5 minute presentation. We did that about 10 times.
And then 5PM Sunday came along, and final demos/presentations began. ... I pitched the business side, one of the designers presented the product demo with the user story. We ran out of time in our presentation. The judges made positive remarks about how they could relate to our product. I was upset they didn't ask us hard questions about the business. .... Anyways, we placed first. We really wanted it - but we were not expecting it. Yay! The other two teams that placed also had great presentations and viable products. Anyways - the last few weeks has been spent taking advantage of our prizes. One of the developers is working on our product fulltime already. Lots going on!
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