Stefano Orowitsch attended last year’s Startup Weekend in Cambridge, which was organised by the team behind Idea Transform. His Belongsfinder team won the Community category for their web-based solution to reunite those affected by the Japanese Tsunami with their lost possessions.
Here’s his advice for attendees at Idea Transform:
I participated in many entrepreneurship events but last year’s weekend event in Cambridge was truly special. Not only because of the format, but also as I could not think of a better place in Europe to meet so many inspiring people than Cambridge. Despite having been a winning team that weekend, the venue was filled with an extraordinary amount of ideas and ambitious talent. I guess what really makes Cambridge so impressive is that great minds from all over Europe come here with their ideas. This results in a very interesting ecosystem for both start-ups and investors.
Our weekend was tremendously successful as we were able to build a team that transformed our idea into reality in such a fast pace that it felt as if we had worked for weeks on the project. The format of working together with a new team that brought together ideas, business and development skills for almost 72 hours allowed us to really get to know each other under pressure. Yet, all people in my team I would characterize as such striving under pressure. This is why it was also a lot of fun to go through this intense experience.
To prospective teams I can only recommend to build up almost religious belief (spirit) in your idea no matter what others will think about it. Whereas a reasonable amount of doubt under different circumstances may be good for you, it can kill your team motivation during such an intense weekend format. Another key success factor for us was to not think local. Despite being surrounded by talent and knowledge, do not lock yourself up on the weekend. Make use of your phone, Email, Alumni network and so on. Be aware of the different time zones. Despite the weekend you can reach people on other continents Friday and Sunday evening.