Rhianna Shaw | Sep 06, 2011
Ever heard of an unconference? Well I hadn’t until I took a closer look at Startup Weekend. By definition an unconference is a conference where the participants decide the outcome; it’s a step away from the more traditional formula of high fees, sponsored presentations and top-down organisation. If you’ve got a new idea you’re excited about and you’re looking for a platform to help you launch it, or you’re interested in mobile and web apps and you don’t care much for sleep, well, Startup Weekend is for you!
It’s an intense 54-hour collaboration whose hours of work and sleep (and lack thereof) are dictated by those in attendance. In fact, the whole program is in the hands of the participants: according to their site “you make the agenda based on the people, ideas and mood.” Startup Weekend brings together people with diverse but useful skillsets – primarily graphic designers, software developers and that wonderfully all-encompassing group, “business people.” Worried you don’t fit into any of the above categories? Well don’t be. They have space for all types, from PR demons to legal sharks, not to mention an actual ticket type labelled “cook” (apparently somebody has to make sure the food is hot and the drinks are cold)! Not only do they encourage people to step away from their day jobs but they say you’re “totally free to change roles throughout the weekend.”
Of course, spectators aren’t banned, but this event aims to be as hands-on as possible. Travelling from city to city Startup Weekend LLC is actually its own company that has been bringing the Startup Weekend to new places worldwide for the last four years, leaving a trail of close-knit communities and often successful new products in its wake. By all accounts Startup Weekend is a fun, intense, immensely productive weekend filled with everyone you could possibly wish to help make your startup app dreams come true. In their own words: “Build community. Start Companies. No talk. All action.”
About the Author: Rhianna Shaw, Conference Hound’s UK correspondent is a 2011 graduate of Brown University with a B.A. in Literary Arts and a course focus on Business. At Brown, Rhianna was the Public Relations and Event Coordinator for the Brown Class Board, responsible for organizing class and campus-wide events. She spent her final semester developing an online start-up with a small team of her Brown classmates. Rhianna hails from sunny England, where she has returned to work in the event industry in London. She has spent a large portion of her life dedicated to music as a member of several bands and orchestras and she also enjoys acting and playing competitive sports!