Startup Weekend returns to Edmonton

Startup Weekend Edmonton is back! The weekend of February 11-13 is your opportunity to do something about that idea you’ve been thinking about – and that’s just one of the many good reasons to attend. Startup Weekend is a great opportunity to network with other people in the community, to learn something new, to gain valuable team building experience, and maybe even just to feel that sense of accomplishment we all love. Not to mention the rush of going from concept to working demo in just 54 hours!

Edmonton’s first Startup Weekend took place last June. About 30 local developers, designers, and other creative people got together and formed six teams that built some really interesting projects. You can read my recap of our last event to get a sense of how the weekend went, but here in a nutshell is the process:

  • Friday Night: Everyone shows up, we have some brief introductions, and if you have an idea you pitch it. It’s messy and fun but we then form teams out of all the ideas, and each team begins to plan and prepare for the rest of the weekend.
  • Saturday: Teams dive into building their project. Breaking it up into tasks and time management are key. Throughout the day there are lunch and dinner breaks with speakers talking about startup-related topics.
  • Sunday: It’s crunch time! Teams finish up their projects so that they can demo it in the evening. Around 6pm, all the work stops and the wider community gets to see what each team accomplished over the weekend.

Cam is going to cover all of that in more detail on the Friday evening as well. It’s a short amount of time, which is part of why it is so exciting!

One of the questions that people ask a lot is if Startup Weekend is only for programmers. The answer is no! In fact, teams need individuals with all kinds of skills to be successful. Anyone can have an idea and help flesh that out into a project. Artists and designers can help with the look and feel. Business people can help with the pitch or maybe even work on a business plan. Storytellers can help make the project compelling to customers. Of course someone needs to test the project out. I’m sure you can think of dozens of others skills that could be brought to the table. The most successful companies need more than just programmers!

There are Startup Weekend events happening all over the world. In fact, there are going to be 150 this year alone! If you’re unsure about the event, check out the Startup Weekend blog and read through some of the stories from other places. It’s really amazing what has been created, not to mention all of the relationships and other great things that have been formed as a result. Innovative ideas like Planely, which aims to make it possible to use the “lost” time we spend on airplanes to network and make friends. Also be sure to check out My Edmonton which was created at Edmonton’s first Startup Weekend has since grown and evolved into a really useful app!

Edmonton’s second Startup Weekend is taking place at the Computing Sciences Centre on the University of Alberta campus. Tickets are $99, but if you purchase yours today or tomorrow, it’s just $65. That includes food for the weekend and a Startup Weekend t-shirt. It’s a heck of a deal. You can see the event listing and other information on ShareEdmonton.

Stay tuned to Startup Edmonton (and on Twitter) for updates. We’ll be using the hashtag #SWEdmonton if you’d like to follow along on Twitter.

I hope to see you there!

Startup Weekend comes to Edmonton

This weekend Edmonton will host an event called Startup Weekend (on ShareEdmonton), which brings together developers, designers, marketers, inventors, investors, and anyone else interested in startups to see what they can build in just 54 hours. Will the next big thing emerge out of Edmonton? Will the community create something small that positively impacts the lives of Edmontonians? Maybe both!

Startup Weekend has happened in dozens of cities around the world. Their goal is to hold 60 events this year, and 100 in 2011. Here’s some background:

Startup Weekend is a non-profit organization based out of Seattle, WA USA. Startup Weekend is a small team of three along with community leaders around the world. Startup Weekend’s primary mission is to be the most valuable and influential organization in startup communities around the world. Startup Weekend doesn’t have to teach entrepreneurship in a boring classroom setting, we model it in a fun, interactive, and results driven way. As a result, we have become one of the leading catalysts for startup creation, co-founder dating, and entrepreneurship education in startup ecosystems around the world.

You can download a one-pager on Startup Edmonton in PDF here.

The way the event works will be somewhat familiar to anyone who has attended a *camp. It starts with the pitch – ideas for new startup ventures. The favorites are selected, and teams of 4 to 10 people are formed to tackle each one. The rest of the weekend is spent trying to build a prototype, demo, or maybe even a finished product!

The Edmonton event, organized by Startup Edmonton, is taking place at Enterprise Square downtown. The weekend kicks off on Friday evening at 6pm, with introductions and idea pitches. Then the real work begins! Here’s what attendees get out of the event:

Startup Weekend provides an unprecedented level of networking, team building, learning, and life changes for its attendees and their communities. Don’t forget that there will be 6-7 meals and drinks provided. There is a reason that most attendees come back for every event – it’s just plain fun and provides amazing opportunities you can’t get anywhere else. Sometimes a company emerges, sometimes one doesn’t, but every time people leave with more experience, insight, knowledge, friends, and resources than they came with.

Startup Weekend should be a lot of fun! Tickets are $99, which includes meals and beverages for the weekend (there are a few available at half price if you hurry). You can follow @StartupEdmonton on Twitter for updates, as well as the #SWEdmonton hashtag. See you there!

Click here to register for Startup Weekend Edmonton!