What are you doing between the 3rd and the 5th of May?
It will be the weekend, so personally, I would normally have a beer on Friday evening, and suddenly it will be Sunday evening, out of beer money, an assignment to finish and a traffic cone in the bathroom. Wonder how that happened…? But I have a better idea. From 6.30pm on the Friday, to 9pm on the Sunday, in 54 hours you have the chance to use “innovation, disruption and creativity…to build a start-up.”
Do you think this is impossible? I suggest you reconsider; last year’s event attracted fifty bright sparks who will have to disagree with you. The event has been dubbed “Silicon Valley in Southampton”. Surely we must all know what this is all about?
The weekend opens with the best thing in the world; food. The first half hour or so consists of eating and socialising amongst the attendees, familiarising oneself with everyone. This will prove vital later on; you will need to know who will be a good team player for you. The attendees are then welcomed, and the speakers give their speeches to inspire you for the mad weekend ahead.
Then, the pitches begin. The pitches are all presented within a tight time limit, and you must use personal judgment to decide which ones are the best, for one of the best may be your project for the weekend, so make the right choice! When the projects have been decided, you will form a team with the people you have (hopefully) met and trust. This is not a time for the wallflowers!
As a team that evening and into the next day, you must be honest and direct about the required resources and skills, and how many you can claim to. Coaches are around to help and guide you, and perhaps give encouragement on a one coach to one team basis. Again, uproot yourself wallflower, for you have to be self motivated and confident about communicating your thoughts and requesting help; no one knows what you want until you tell them!
On Sunday evening (after dinner, happily) the presentations are made – that is, of you and your team’s project. This is the exposure of all your hard work. It’s not just how much work you put towards the project, but how you managed to construct a team and make a product a reality. You will get a taste of what all entrepreneurs feel; the feeling that everything is coming together at last.
If you keep in mind that although you might think that the team you form is just for the event, you may be wrong; at last year’s event, 15% of the participants decided to carry on the project after the weekend was over. I highly doubt you need more convincing; but if you do, that the prizes up for grabs last year included an Amazon Kindle Fire.
Yes. You are rewarded if your endeavours are judged to be the best compared to your competitors, as it is in the real world. It’s a unique, fabulous opportunity that should not be missed out on, and is infinitely more interesting, inspirational and (dropping the CV bomb) gives you an idea of what business is like in the real world, than wondering how your weekend drowned in that pint.
To register for the Start-Up Weekend Southampton, click here. The event begins in the Mountbatten building (59) on the Highfield Campus.
The event begins at 6.30pm on Friday 3rd May and ends 9.00pm Sunday 5th May (but you are allowed to go home and sleep!).
Information from Fish on Toast (one of the entrepreneurship societies) can be found here.
Pictures below from last year’s event: