Business ideas nurtured at Startup event
What did you do last weekend? Most people probably spent their weekend doing the same things they do every weekend. Others went to Startup Weekend Bermuda.
This event was the start of what we hope to be a powerfully addictive, self-propagating, business-launching, knowledge-sharing, community-driven, BEDC supported movement.
On Friday more than 40 people showed up, unsure of what to expect. Twenty people got up and pitched their ideas in just 60 seconds, some of these ideas were being shared for the very first time.
The fact that so many had courage to pitch publicly, to overcome any fears of rejection and to allow others into your dream already gave us high expectations for the event. What followed was truly inspirational…
The participants voted for the pitches they liked the most. Those that were not chosen and those who had not pitched then got behind the chosen ideas with heart and soul for the next 54 hours. We had to kick everyone out at 11pm.
As the weekend progressed, the teams were able to receive a number of coaching sessions as to how to focus the concept development as well as a concept development Q&A, driven by our visiting facilitator Ethan Bagley.
Most participants had solutions that did not necessarily take into consideration the needs of their core customer segment. One self-described “lil island girl” thanked Ethan for constantly reminding her that it is okay to fail and that she was probably wrong already and described this mantra as “probably the greatest, most mind-bending, yet freeing piece of advice” she had ever received.
The final presentations were delivered by teams, not individuals. The initial concepts might have withered on the vine if they were not allowed out into the open where the collective forced reflection, validation and iteration on the initial constructs. A lot of the presentations are just steps away from being realised as businesses. The Bermuda business community also stepped up to the plate in supporting these startup ventures by providing in-kind services and prizes ranging from free internet to marketing advice as well as sponsorship of attendees.
With the quality of innovation and the support network provided, we at the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) fully expect to see business plans ready for financing by Cup Match. Come see us to help develop your idea.
- Nick Kempe is chair of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation
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