This past weekend I had the honor of participating in the Triangle Startup Weekend ~ Health. It took place in Durham, NC at the American Underground II, a co-working space dedicated to startup companies. Startup Weekend is a global Initiative funded in part by the Kauffman Foundation to give entrepreneurs (or wanna be entrepreneurs) an opportunity to pitch, join a team and create a business – all in 54 hours. This particular weekend had a theme – Health. Here is one of the organizers, Brian Moynihan explaining the the weekend’s concept in a video post.
My role in the weekend was as a team coach and it was a great experience. I heard some amazing pitches Friday night – only ONE minute each – and on Saturday helped out by being coaching one of the crowd-voted finalists. The team I worked with didn’t win in front of the judges, but they won with me. That’s because they had an idea inspired by a need they saw in the community. I found the team needed more than my skills as a healthcare analyist. I also advised on HIPAA, data resources, viability of ideas and even cheerleader when they got some negative feedback on a concept I thought they could overcome. To give you a flavor of the energy (and close quarters) the TSW organizers captured some of the groups (and me) in development discussions.
Startup Weekend is a global initiative. Of note, there were 8 other Startup Weekends happening at the same time including Brazil (!), Japan (!), and sites in the US. The next event in the Triangle will be Startup Weekend – Women’s edition with a goal of increasing participation by women on the organizing committee, as judges and mentors and most importantly, as participants. To get on the mailing list, sign up here.
I know I’ll be at a future Startup Weekend. How about you???