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SWO5 – What Do You Need To Participate?

Jun 13

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Friday, June 13, 2014 8:19 AM  RssIcon

StartupWeekendOttawaLast weekend I participated in Startup Weekend Ottawa.  I’m doing a four part series on my experience, this is three of four.  I hope you enjoy it!

Last week I volunteered at Startup Weekend Ottawa and I had a FANTASTIC time.  I would like to share my experiences with you in a four part series.  This is turning out to be less of a “Review” as it is “Preps For Next Time.”  I hope you enjoy it as much as I had “preparing” for this blog series.


My Experience Volunteering


My Advice for Rookies\Noobs


What Do You Need To Participate?


You Going? GREAT! Now What?


Bonus – Closing Thoughts and Last Minute Tips

What Do You Need To Participate

Last weekend I volunteered at Startup Weekend Ottawa (SWO) and had a BLAST!  This is the third blog post in the series.

If you are thinking of participating in the NEXT (rumored to be in the fall) Startup Weekend Ottawa (GOOD for you!), what do you need? What should you bring? Check out this quick checklist for things you might not have thought of before.  I hope it’s useful to you.

  • a pulse, yes
    • but if yours starts to wane there is an almost bottomless pit of coffee :>
      • "almost"? we found bottom Sat :> but thankfully lunch was just around the corner and so was another carafe, thank you!
  • enthusiasm, yes, it really does help, so YES!!!!
  • to be an extrovert, no! people don't care about intro\extro, things just work out!!!!! 
    • I know, hard to believe, it just works out! people are super nice and supportive
    • Those are labels and people seem to have little to no patience for labels
  • a pessimist, hhhmm, that’s the one thing, if you are perpetual pessimist, you will not enjoy yourself
  • friends (to go with you I mean), no, you can easily go solo and you WILL effortlessly make friends there (if you want)
    • I know a couple people went as friends, but you have to be careful not to tie yourself to that one person you brought
    • get out of your comfort zone and meet some new people, there are MANY other people like you who are just as nervous BUT smart and want to share with you
  • a laptop, no, but it helps
  • a cell phone, no but it helps
    • however maybe not for the reasons you might think
      • txt someone you'll be later than you expect
      • a 2m distractions to check something can sometimes be just the distraction you need to help break through a tough problem
  • to be young? no!
    • there was one guy there in his 40s and that team got a lot of positive feedback for his work! he loved his designers and they loved him! AND their three devs all got along fabulously! they meshed so well, so age don't matter!
  • programming experience, no
  • CEO experience, no
  • computer savvy? no, but it helps
  • a car, no
  • money? well, it helps to pay for a ticket, but there are other ways to participate, like I did, you could volunteer
    • there have been early-bird tickets in the past, that's one way to save money
    • I was a volunteer and LOVED IT!
    • organizers told us to bring a book or laptop or something to fill possible down-time, slow periods, I NEVER took out my laptop!  I wanted to, don't get me wrong, I see THAT many coders doing their thing, hey man, I want in too!!!!!!!!!  But then I'd walk around, do this, do that, help out here, help someone find something there, we were busy all weekend, AND IT WAS GREAT!

Now you have the inside track for advice on your next Startup Weekend Ottawa.  If you’re there, keep an eye out for me, and if you see me, please say hi and let me know if this was helpful.  Until then, it’s time to grab a coffee and get coding!



Sam Chen on YouTube

Startup Ottawa Weekend site

Startup Weekend Ottawa Twitter feed (@swottawa)

Startup Weekend Ottawa on Facebook

LinkedIn = Paul Austin-Menear

Marketing BreakThroughs Inc. =  6 Things Businesses Can Learn from Startup Weekend Ottawa

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