This last weekend the opportunity to be part of an event which I had not been familiar with - Startup Weekend. It bills itself as “a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. Come share ideas, form teams, and launch startups.”
I was asked to kick off the weekend with a short keynote since the focus of this StartUp was “Ed Tech”. I focused on trying show how creativity and passion are essential in education and the power behind project based learning.
Afterwards the participants pitched ideas and then working on forming teams to create a fully functional and tech company or product. I spent the night with them on Friday and was able to hear their ideas and see many of the teams come together. They spent all day Saturday working on these startups and then came back on Sunday to finalize and pitch their idea to a group of judges. I was able to come back on Sunday to observe the final hours and see how this would all come to a conclusion. And in the end, there were some very interesting and pretty cool ideas that were born. Most of them are still just in their infancy but the process of how to be able to take an idea and move it through steps from an idea to design to marketing, etc was empowering.
As usual with any event with passionate people who have passionate ideas there was a lot of networking going on. I met so many great people; some educators; some programmers programmers; a guy who flew in from Wisconsin, and even former student of mine! (@zpalin) It was funny actually that at a tech conference so many wanted to connect and everyone was asking “can I get your business card” and I was thinking…. “who has business cards today” (side note: I just ordered a set of cards from vistaprint.com!)
Here is the link to Start Up Weekend Sacramento since they are planning to keep having more in these in the future.
Oh… and the winner of the weekend?
“Next Dollar App” @NextDollarApp “Taking the social anxiety out of real time purchasing. #Autism Brought to you by @Adapted4Sped @CpHurley82 @ToscaSac (Tweets) & 3 coding ninjas.
Michael Ryan Norton @theredhype
Laura Good @goodlaura
PheOnix RuachShaddai @yesladypheOnix
and all the StartUp Weekend team