Startup Weekend is returning to Wellington on 27-29 July with another awesome creative opportunity to team up with like-minded designers, techies and business people.
The first Startup Weekend in Wellington last year had a noticeable shortage of designers. People with user experience or visual design skills were hot property. The scarcity became evident very quickly on the Friday, with teams scrambling to recruit design talent for their ideas. “I was one of the small pool of designers at SW Wellington last year and had several teams trying to recruit me,” said Debbie Paterson of DesignGel. “It was pretty awesome being in such demand and also having so much opportunity to develop both my entrepreneurial and traditional design skills”.
Many (but not all) of the ideas that get raised at Startup Weekend are web based. Teams with digital ideas often spend a chunk of the weekend developing prototypes to help explain and validate their concept. Groups without designers have a much tougher time visualising their ideas and impressing both potential customers and the judges. The wide range of startup ideas also mean a wide range of design opportunities. Interaction design is sure to be in high demand, but there will also likely be plenty of teams looking for anyone with visual skills, particularly illustrators and digital designers for web and mobile.
Startup Weekend Wellington organiser Dave Moskowitz says that you’ll get the chance to work with “the brightest, most collaborative, and most energetic people you’ve ever meet. It’s about building relationships in the community and testing your collective creative limits as much as it’s about testing ideas and making stuff. Mostly, it’s about having a great time building cool stuff together!”, enthuses Dave, who is a leading light in the technology start-up scene and one of Startup Weekend’s most vocal advocates in New Zealand.
Not all the design opportunities are visual, either. Every team is designing a business, regardless of the product. You and your team will need to create and design a brand as quickly as possible. Then you need to do design your product or service experience. Next you need to reach out to potential customers and show that you’ve got something people want and will pay for. Then you need to put on a stellar pitch of your start-up to the weekend judges. At Startup Weekend your team is all in it together, and you’ll be bouncing between product, customers, pricing, promotion and mentors all the way through.
That means you’re sure to try a bunch of new things and learn a lot. Startup Weekend also features a bunch of mentors who are there to share their expertise and professional networks. Helen Baxter of Mohawk Media was one such mentor last year.
“The mentors at Startup Weekend are from around the world, and all of them are passionate about helping the next generation of innovators. If you thrive on creative challenges, and would find a crash-course in business fun, then Wellington Startup Weekend is an amazing experience.”.
Some startups carry on after the weekend. Some get investment, and some take off. Some do not fly, but that is also part of the learning. For the vast majority of us, the best thing about Startup Weekend is the people you meet. The weekend is packed with people from all walks of life that share a passion for making things, building businesses, and designing cool stuff. If nothing else, you’re sure to meet people you will want to work with in the real world too.
So at Startup Weekend you can meet great people, learn new things, and design cool stuff. What are you waiting for? The next Wellington event is 27-29 July. Discounted earlybird sales end on 27th June. Sign up here!
~ Big thanks to David Clearwater for providing this article.