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Startup Weekend - 52 hours to Startup

Last weekend, the seventh (seventh!) edition of Startup Weekend Hong Kong took place at CoCoon. We cannot believe it has come so far - certainly we could not imagine it when we first learned of Startup Weekend in November 2011, as participants of its first Hong Kong edition. We are now a community with over 750 alumni, 3 to 4 events per year (Startup Weekend and Startup Next), a lively Facebook Alumni group, and newsletter with a huge 40% opening rate.

Startup Weekend - 52 hours to Startup

Startup Weekend is a fun introductory event to entrepreneurship. As such, we were glad to see lots of new faces! Of the 70+ participants, most were new to the Startup Weekend and to entrepreneurship, and were eager to learn a few tools and tricks about how to start their own businesses. Despite being new, none were deterred by a full-on Friday night, in which they had to pitch their own ideas and work hard to gather support and form their own teams - 10 in total this time. Friday night is always a very energetic part of the event.

Saturday morning the newly formed teams came back to CoCoon, to get started with their projects and be advised by our mentors. We are proud to have formed, over the years, a great community of experienced mentors, some with their own startup businesses, some working in startup-related fields like design, development, consulting and investment. This variety of expertise is required for a successful event, to be able to advise effectively the teams, as their ideas always span a wide spectrum of fields, from innovative software to logistics services with a new twist to the latest type of soft drinks.

Teams spent Saturday morning refining their plans and products, then went out during lunchtime to interview as many potential customers as possible. They came back in the afternoon with lots of real customers’ opinion about whether their idea would fly or sink. By mid-afternoon all were hard at work, with mentors’ help, on how to perfect their product or service - or on how to revive it, in some cases…

A great moment on Saturday was dinner time - when teams got to take a break, socialise, and have a nice dinner (thank you sponsors!). We also had a couple of dinner-time talks from experienced entrepreneurs and sponsors, and we were happy to see that many participants, while tired from a very busy Saturday, found the talks valuable.

Then came Sunday morning - always the quietest time of the event, when teams rush to complete their business plan, product prototype and presentations. Mentors are also very helpful at this stage, but in a more focussed way. No more time for brainstorming! Time to get ready for the afternoon final pitch in front of the judges.

Startup Weekend - 52 hours to Startup

Sunday afternoon arrived very fast, and by mid afternoon the room was buzzing with the public arriving to hear 10 new business ideas. Our judges made each team presentation even more interesting, by asking questions that only experienced entrepreneurs are able to make.

After an interesting discussions, the judges chose three winners to be three ideas that we are confident will contribute to improve Hong Kong business: an online payment solution for Asia, a mobile app and platform to book handymen, and an app that enables even grandmas to Skype.

At the same time, we organizers really know that the real winners are all those who participated! Startup Weekend’s is such a life changing learning experience that it has the power to turn each participant into a real entrepreneur.
Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend - 52 hours to Startup

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Matthieu Bodin and Andrea Livotto are two of the organizers and facilitators of Startup Weekend Hong Kong. They are also business developers at the boutique digital agency Clarity Labs
Clarity Labs shares the same entrepreneurial ideals of the Startup Weekend community. We think working at Clarity Labs is as fun as attending a Startup Weekend, and would love to hear from talented developers, designers, digital marketers and business developers ready for a new challenge!
Clarity Hong Kong

Startup Weekend - 52 hours to Startup

Startup Weekend - 52 hours to Startup

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