Earlier this month I had the amazing opportunity to participate in Startup Weekend Des Moines. I’ve been told by several people that I should check it out – the stars aligned this year and I was able to go.“Startup Weekend is an intense 54 hour event which focuses on building a web or mobile application which could form the basis of a credible business over the course of a weekend. The weekend brings together people with different skill sets – primarily software developers, graphics designers and business people – to build applications and develop a commercial case around them.”
Each participant attends Startup Weekend with different goals:
- Work collaboratively with a team
- Develop an idea that turns into a viable business
- Network with the brightest minds of Des Moines
I’m an independent professional, so opportunities to collaborate are few and far between, so I thought I’d test the waters – after all, I haven’t had a traditional J-O-B since early 2009.
I also wanted to see if I could generate another income stream. Turning an idea into a business doesn’t mean you’re going to get rich quick – or at all. But there’s always that chance.
- Our group, myKitchenGenie (a mobile app that matches what you have in your kitchen with recipes you can make now) took second place out of 16 teams that pitched. We were judged on our business model, customer validation and execution.
- I worked on nothing else for those 54 hours. There’s something to be said for being in the zone.
- It is possible to work collaboratively and creatively with a team of strangers!
Our group is in discussions on how to work together (6 out of 9 team members live outside Des Moines) to bring this product to market. We’re very excited to move forward with what started out as an idea on a Friday night and ended up being runner-up after a pitch session 54 hours later. Stay tuned!