We attended the Startup Weekend event in Cebu as "staff". (We were interviewing a bunch of entrepreneurs about their experiences doing business in the Philippines for another guy) The events these guys put on are legit...although your experiences may vary as anyone can put an event on with approval/guidance from the parent group. There were a ton of front-end/back-end developers, designers, entrepreneurs, and wannabes that attended and it was a great learning experience all around, I think. Some of the start-up ideas were interesting, although I think the main idea is to bring the people together and let them flesh some ideas out AFTER the event.
Anyway, based on my experiences there and with them I'd highly recommend it as a great learning opportunity and a chance to practice pitching, finding good people to work with, etc.
Melbourne has a really interesting startup scene, so we're very happy to be sponsoring this edition of Startup Weekend Melbourne. I was present at the last event in November and met some very interesting people.
The crowd last time was pretty much half web developers and half business/marketing types. About 30 ideas were pitched, and about 10 made it through to the final round, with people joining teams up until Sunday night.
A few great ideas came out of the previous Startup Weekend Melbourne events. Perhaps more importantly, it has become a very important networking tool for the Melbourne startup/tech scene.
I wouldn't compare it to the Internet Investment Summit at all. Our participation in Startup Weekend is as a supporter of the local tech startup scene -- after all, that's where our origins lie.
There's definitely some incentives for joining in (brand expansion, scoping out talent, testing your ideas, etc.) but it definitely doesn't have a very self-serving feel.
The group that put it on in Cebu was part of the TechTalks.ph group. I met the woman who's put that group together (Tina) and she's done it largely on her own dime and most recently with sponsors. She's looking to expand their group down to Davao and also looking to put on a StartUp Weekend event in Davao City, Philippines as well. While I'd really love to head this up, I'm far to busy to commit to it. That being said, we're planning to be sponsors, help out by donating some admin time from our agents, etc.
Who attended? How did it go?
Simon at Shoestring Startups made a (rather long) video overview of the weekend, in which I play a bit part
The Twitter feed for #swmelb was also very active, and links to several of the new businesses created or developed over the weekend. My personal favourite (Corner Storage, a sort of Air BnB for storing physical stuff in people's garages and spare bedrooms) ended up winning.
One big trend this year was marketplaces, which was fun to see. One worrying trend: many teams counted on social media as a free, quick and efficient method of lead generation. That gave me a laugh.
Overall, the point of the weekend wasn't to have everything polished and nailed down, but more to test out ideas and teams. I think this was done quite well by Sunday night.
Not only new visitors, but qualified leads, ready to spend heaps of money! All for free!1!!!!!
grynge (July 3rd, 2012)