Start Me Up!

September 11, 2017

You have one night to pitch an idea for a new business start up.

Then your newly assembled team works for the next day and a half to develop a business plan, gain customer validation for the idea, set prices, growth plan, develop an app, and the shell of a website. What takes many people months to complete was taken on by seven groups of entrepreneurs at the Start Up Weekend in Kamloops. As a volunteer judge providing insight in the arena of stakeholder engagement, marketing, and communications, plus asking thought provoking questions along with the other judges on the panel, I had a blast and had to remind myself through the seven presentations on Sunday night that just two days ago, these teams formed to get so much accomplished. It was awesome!

 start up weekend picture

There were a few takeaways I had from this event:

  1. Teamwork makes the Dream work: there is no way that the work these teams presented could have been done by just one person in this short amount of time. Many ideas, thoughts, and opinions were taken and shaken, and out poured some ingenious ideas, many that just might make it to market.
  2. Deadlines make it Happen: we’ve all been there. Give me half a year to complete an assignment or contract, the real work and focus happens more near the end or the deadline. Having a deadline or milestones are good because that helps us focus in on the task at hand and get the job done.
  3. Analysis Paralysis: as an Engagement Specialist, I’m all for engaging stakeholders and researching, but there comes a time when you need to pull the trigger, make some key recommendations, and get moving. Teams which spend too much time on overthinking get bogged down and don’t typically deliver the best product. Analysis is good, but someone needs to move things along at one point!
  4. Mentors / Volunteers: this event was so incredibly well organized by Jonathan Bowers and his team. He encouraged the 90+ people in the room to help out and organize their own event next year. It’s important to always look back as a participant and remember how people gave of their time to see YOU succeed, and then pay it forward to others to come after you.

I look forward to seeing what the winning team with the concept of Memo:Re comes up with and hope that the team makes it to market with this incredibly unique product. For more on Start Up Weekend and how YOU can get engaged or volunteer, get in contact with the team over at Kamloops Innovation and check out the video below.