What's so great about Startup Weekend? And should you go?

Startup Weekend: where business development meets speed dating.

Startup Weekend: where business development meets speed dating.

So you’ve got a good idea, or no idea at all, but you want to be an entrepreneur. And you’ve only got 54 hours to develop the idea into a business.

Why does Startup Weekend work for someone like you? Because you’re You, and to make it you’re going to need to be an Us, and you need to do it fast. Too many ideas die on the vine because people don’t know how to embrace an environment that will turn it in to great wine (or vinegar, depending on the idea – and about 1000 other factors, to be fair) .

Building a charged, dynamic community is one of the chief goals of a startup weekend, simulating the pressure you feel when you actually have budgets, deadlines, customers and revenue targets to make – but without the risk of things like, oh, budgets, revenues and customers!

You can go there knowing no one and leave gaining a whole community. This lowers the barriers to starting your own business, because people make you go fast. Not money or clever tech. People.

The startup world itself is difficult for identifying a team. People are people, and you don’t know most of them. You can’t pay people to take a punt on your idea, and you can’t get to know how they’d be to work with without them taking a punt.

More important than time to market, is time to hire (or secure founding partner team members). The latter will determine the former.

An environment like Startup Weekend puts you amongst people with complementary skills. Getting great ideas to market needs great teams, and you’ll also find out if you can work with certain people or you need to change some team members. Discussions can be robust and it takes you out of your comfort zone.

Starting a company is no longer about raising capital; it’s about raising teams. The single biggest challenge for any startup is finding people who will enable you to move with speed. If you have an idea you have to act on it now. Winning startups aren’t the ones who out-think the competition; they’re the ones who out-execute the competition.

The Startup Trident of Wisdom: Speed Limits to be Broken

• Identify fast people who can fast track your idea
• Network; network; network.
• Be a team builder, not just an innovator

Noel Brown is a business strategist at CreativeHQ, which is organising Startup Weekend Wellington with Webfund, BizDojo, and IWantMyName.

The inaugural Wellington Startup Weekend is on this week from November 4-6. The room will be crammed with entrepreneurs and mentors trading advice on how to get a team around an idea and turn it into a business fast. Here’s the second in a series on the quintessential elements of startup success.

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