What is in a startup weekend

In July I met Cat Matson, who spoke about her career path. Mainly about how each new stage was achieved through opportunities rather than any specific path. For me this hit home, as I had been trying to plan and map out a solid career that would benefit not only myself, but my family as well. Her presentation made me realise that if I wanted to make an impact in this world, I needed to create my own opportunity.

I had been toying with the idea of finding a solution for the problem of housing affordability. Up until that point I had wondered who I could convince to execute the solution, what Cat made me realise is that maybe I could. I work with a great team at RACQ and was fortunate enough to have an introduction to Adrian Juarez who was organising a Fintech Startup Weekend.

I pitched my idea, which at that point was a form of house share investment fund, and was encouraged to participate in the weekend. It cost $75 to register, which was a fair bit of money for me to spend. Basically he told me the structure would be something like this:

  • Open mic pitch for 60 secs with no props or slides.
  • Vote for the favourite ideas.
  • Form teams around those ideas.
  • Develop a business model and validate the value proposition.
  • Get through a much prototype development as possible.
  • Finally, pitch to a crowd of 100+ what you achieved over the weekend.

Yet another wave of intimidated came over me. How on earth could I compete with the ideas of people with more business knowledge than me? Startup weekends are actually more about collaborating and having fun with new ideas than about winning. But I didn't know that at the time!