Have an idea? Looking to start your own startup? Well, we have some good news for you. Techstars Global Startup Weekend is coming up soon with an opportunity for (would be) entrepreneurs to get inspiration, education, and guidance, as well as move on to the next step on a global scale. The new edition of the event will be held between November 10 and 12 in two Chinese cities—Shanghai and Suzhou.
This Startup Weekend will gather between 60 and 80 participants at the very beginning of their journey, typically people who might have an idea, looking for co-founders and insights into creating a business, Matthieu Bodin, Regional Manager for Greater China at Techstars Startup Programs told TechNode.
“Startup Weekend is not a conference, workshop or a panel discussion. We expect participants to actually work and that’s why we call it an experiential learning experience. People learn how to create a business by actually doing it,” said Bodin. Participants will be pitching ideas, forming teams, learning basic concepts about entrepreneurship, but they will also go outside of the venue to interview customers who might be random strangers, he added.
“We will also encourage them to build an actual prototype so by the end of the event they will have to prepare a presentation and pitch it in front of the judges.”
Startup Weekends are organized by volunteers all around the world: local entrepreneurs and community builders who want to create opportunities for entrepreneurs to get started on their journey. The events are a part of a big event Techstars Global Startup Weekend in which 15,000 participants will compete within 200 editions similar to the ones in Suzhou and Shanghai. Judges which come from the lines of experienced entrepreneurs will hear a 4-minute pitch, provide feedback, and decide which teams will move forward. The winning team will first have to face rivals from the Asia-Pacific region and then move on to competing against winners from other regions worldwide. So what is the prize?
“First, it’s a lot of visibility,” said Bodin. “Startup Weekend is a global organization, we are in over 150 countries. Being able to say that you won against so many other participants is a good way to kickstart your own project.”
In addition, there will be perks such as gifts and prizes from sponsors. On average, 12% of the projects coming out a Startup Weekend will be moving forward while 30% of the participants will be creating their startup or join one within 18 months. Techstars also accelerates and provides venture capital to the most promising companies. Some of the successful startups include Shopline, MailTime, Aftership, and Carousell. Now, how would a potential entrepreneur go about winning these prizes?
“What is really important is to be open-minded because there will be a lot of content available to them, they will be meeting many new people and getting feedback from mentors,” Bodin explained. “The second thing is having a lot of energy because it’s just over two days and a half and it’s surprisingly intense as an event. When you have a fair amount of energy you’re able to cope with the changes of mood, different team dynamics, and all the different workshops and tests that will be thrown at participants.”
Lastly, he advised participants to be curious and ambitious: “It’s really about connecting with different people, testing ideas, so being on that mindset would totally help.”