Yes, I know. It has been a long time since I published my last post. More than a month. It is not that professional, isn’t it?
Well, I don’t have any excuses, but the positive aspect of my absence lies in my participation at many different networking events, so now I have a lot to blog about.
One month ago, on my first weekend of unemployment after I quit my job at Franco Manca, I volunteered for the London Mobile Start-Up Weekend at Google Campus. To be sincere my role was really easy: on Friday I just had to receive the participants, give them t-shirts and gadgets of the event, help the staff to organize the voting for the pitches, and the other days just prepare and serve the food and help the participants with whatever they needed.
Volunteering let me live the Start-up Weekend from an external point of view. During my free time I walked through the teams observing them, and while I was serving the food I had some really interesting chat.
I became really passionate about some of the projects which came out from the event, especially two of them, one more serious and one more funny.
The serious and useful one is Courier Now, a brilliant app which let people send their postage through normal people who are travelling. The sender buys the traveller the ticket or in general pays for the journey.
Flirt Now! is the funny one ^_^. It connects people and actually lets them buy each other a drink or other gifts through the app, which are not virtual but real. It adds some gaming features by providing a function based on gps which can locate all the people who are online and close to you while you are walking in the streets. It can be used just for fun, between friends, or for finding a proper flirt.
I wish good luck to both of the apps, I really believe they can develop great projects.
The reason I wanted to be part of the Startup Weekend staff was networking. Now that I did my first experience with them, I do want to continue, not for the networking. I mean, it is really important to be connected with many new people with different skills and background, but the whole meaning of the event for me is not just that. It is creating from scratch, from almost zero. And observing this process taught me many lessons which I didn’t notice during my Young Enterprise business project, because I was more involved (and I am) in it, and maybe less objective.
The Start-up Weekend is an experience I suggest to everyone. The reason I think this is because of the time they give you, which is really short. You have to come up with an idea, choose your team mates without knowing them, dividing the roles within the team, write the business plan, curate the branding and the design, do market research, do the prototype, do the interviews, do the finance, and pitch. In 54 hours. Impressive, isn’t it?
Yet, observing the teams was like walking through an magnetic field: many brains were working hard, liters of red bull and beer were there to keep their hearts strong and passionate, and even while they were eating you could tell that they were still thinking of what they could do to improve their prototype or to reach more customers or to make a better logo or to produce or not produce a launch video.
I felt like a part of a massive group of thinking, smart and brave people.
When someone asks me why I chose to volunteer for the Start-up Weekend, I simply answer “it is worth it, believe me.”.
Just attend and see.