Writer, organiser and Creative HQ venture manager, Nick Churchouse assesses the mood at the end of Wellington Startup Weekend Day 2.
Saturday is always the crunch day. Ideas are realized, broken and fixed, teams solidify, some crack and fail. Startup Weekend is in full swing.
Over halfway through the weekend, 12 startup teams have spent the day testing their ideas’ feasibility out around Wellington and through their contacts, connections … wherever they can find them. Crises have been averted, business models built, and websites and apps developed. Several teams have changed direction several times during the day, some are all about focus. The heat is on as Sunday morning means only hours left to Pitch Time, in front of a panel of judges. The doors close at 1am Sunday morning and no one will leave a minute sooner.
Teams are solving problems ranging from the challenges of interior decorating to big data usage to how to nail a job interview. Mentors from Auckland, Christchurch, Perth and Canberra have been working alongside local mentors to help the teams go faster, solve problems better and cut through the pressure of delivering into a five minute soundbite for 5pm Sunday. One mentor described the chaotic process of shaping up a startup in such a short time as “going from the Wright Brothers to the Hindenburg and back again several times”. This is no lush gig.
The murmur in the room as the coffees are rolled out for the late night push … “How is this going to shape up for the pitch?” Perhaps Seth Godin best summed up the response to that particular question by imploring entrepreneurs to, “get your best work out the door”.