By John Sheehan
StartupWeekend Twin Cities is less than 24 hours away and I’m extremely excited to be headed north to take part in the festivities. As a startup enthusiast and Twin Cities expat who recently moved to Boulder, CO (for spousal career support), StartupWeekend is the kind of event I always wished had come to town when I was around.
As evidenced by the incredible demand for tickets, I know I’m not alone.
I see a bigger opportunity here than just a fun weekend of hacking. It’s not news that the startup environment in Minnesota is less than ideal and temporary excitement only goes so far — which is why I’m issuing a challenge:
I’m challenging you to use this opportunity to push the Twin Cities startup community to the next level. Prove to those with attitudes towards the environment what a misconception it is that Minnesota isn’t a great place to be for tech. It’s time to be so remarkable that you can’t be ignored. It’s time to BRING IT.
There’s a few extra tickets available (around 10) to be taken by Minnesota’s best and brightest. Recruit your most talented friends that have maybe never considered a startup before. Want a head start? Come with an assembled team people you know and believe in. Don’t know anyone? Even better, make it happen. Are you a developer who couldn’t design your way out of box model? Passionate about user experience but don’t have coding chops? Come — find one another — and connect.
Share your wildest ideas. You know that one you’ve been sitting on forever for fear that someone will steal? Really!?!? Come — give it up and get it done. Bring the ideas worthy of making it to the front page of Hacker News or being TechCrunched on Monday. Not sure about an idea? Get feedback, collaborate, use your imagination and turn it into something better.
Bring your intensity and focus. Be ready to start from the moment they say GO! Don’t spend more than a minute on naming your project. Make up a fake word, register projectfakeword.com, get some hosting, Google Apps, and source control up and running BEFORE you walk in the door. Focus on one thing: building a prototype that clearly demonstrates how you’re solving a problem. Forget PowerPoint! Make your prototype so compelling no slide deck can possibly do it justice. Do this and you won’t have to waste time guessing what your market size is or what your projected revenue is because it will be abundantly clear. Find and work with people who share your same level of intensity. Socialize later.
Startup Weekend can come and go like every other event before it -or- it can be a chance for the Twin Cities startup community to stand up together and make a statement about the spectacularly talented group of people within.
I challenge you to BRING IT !
John Sheehan will be sharing his knowledge and passion in person with Startup Weekend Twin Cities attendees.