It’s not about the competition. It’s about the community.
Startup Weekend Ogden began Thursday night with a short speech by Andrew Hyde, the founder of Startup Weekend. His message: “It’s not about the competition. It’s about the community. I don’t care about your pitches. I just want you to make some meaningful connections this weekend.”
When asked to divulge his all-time favorite Startup Weekend pitch, Hyde responded by saying, “None. I don’t care about the products you’ll get up here to promote. Most of them will fail anyway. I just hope you’ll make some lasting friendships.”
Hyde founded Startup Weekend above a bike shop in Boulder, Colorado, in 2007. Since that time, according to StartupWeekend.org, 1,068 events have been held in 478 cities in more than 100 countries, which has led to the creation of 8,190 startups by more than 100,000 entrepreneurs.
“There’s a Startup Weekend in every single war zone in the world,” Hyde told attendees. “I think that’s amazing.”
Soon after Hyde’s address, attendees had a chance to speak into the microphone themselves to pitch their ideas, hoping to find like-minded individuals who would be willing to work on their project.
Some of the more memorable pitches involved an app for autistic children to help reinforce positive feedback; an app that allows you to punch your friend in the face by uploading his or her picture and methodically tapping on your mobile device, over and over again, until you ultimately feel satisfied; and a crowdfund campaign to fund a private island, because, in the words of the attendee who pitched the idea, “Why not skip to the end goal and not have to waste time coming up with a billion dollar idea?”
After everyone had pitched their idea, attendees voted on the ideas they liked best and wanted to work on the most. Once voting was over, the projects with the most votes began to break off into teams and brainstorm how they were actually going to launch an MVP (minimum viable product) by Saturday when judges would determine the best project of the weekend.
For those who don’t know, Startup Weekend Ogden is a three-day event designed to bring members of the Utah startup community together to connect, pitch ideas, and work on projects. It costs $99 to attend, which includes meals, a t-shirt, and, if you asked Hyde, friendships with fellow entrepreneurs that will last a lifetime.