There has been a growing buzz around the Startup scene here in Adelaide and with more co-working spaces and incubator programs for new businesses. One of these intensive incubators is Startup Weekend Adelaide, the local adaptation of a global event now held in 478 cities.
What is Startup Weekend?
Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. Just imagine entrepreneurs from a range of backgrounds including graphic designers, web and app developers, business, sales and marketing coming together to pitch an idea, form teams and build a prototype or business plan in only 54 hours. The energy and excitement at these events is absolutely infectious, the mix of skill sets in people who come and work together is awesome and the mentors that come in to support these teams are absolutely inspiring. Katie Hooper, one of our bloggers describes it as a “reality TV show for entrepreneurs/business people.”
Why am I blogging about this event?
Well at very last minute notice StoryTeller: Multimedia & Events came on board to build and run the social media team for the event. While I was part of the social media team at July’s event, this time round the focus shifted from ‘smashing the hashtag’ on twitter to sharing the experiences of everyone involved in the growing Startup Adelaide Community. Connecting the community? Sharing stories and experiences from an event that focuses on intense personal and professional development in a really exciting way, where do we sign up! #AmIRight! So we swiftly put together a team of 12 people with skillsets in blogging, photography, Twitter & Instagram, Facebook, video production and content planning to make sure we could capture as much and share content as possible over the weekend and share the experiences of as many of those involved as possible! To find out more about my team you can read our blog here, or ask me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for advice on building a team and content plan to match an event in such a short timeframe.
What did we do as a team of 12?
On Friday night we covered the speeches made by Dr Stephen Rodda, CEO of ITEK UniSA, Paul Smith ANZ’s small business bank manager and Founder of the “Tinder for taxi’s” Ned Moorfield to talk about his journey as an entrepreneur and his startup Go Catch. Our blogger Katie Hooper wrote about the speeches for the Startup Weekend Adelaide Blog and was excited to share Rodda’s love for the event and how it is “celebrating entrepreneurship”. Katie also shared some of Ned Moorfield’s “nuggets of wisdom”:
- “listen to feedback from other participants and mentors”. As with anything, I believe that it is important to listen to feed back or constructive criticism. Not only will it make your endeavour more successful, but I believe it makes us better people.
- “be clear on how to make money” and “choose something that matters”. At the end of the day, we do need to earn a living but we should still be able to make that living in a way that is fulfilling.
We also had a team of 5 (3 at a dashboard and 2 roving to photograph and simultaneously post to instagram) live tweeting, retweeting and engaging other users of the #StartupADL hashtag to build a bit of a buzz and start to share these experiences amongst the community both inside the room and outside the event. In our excited fervour we did get the official account suspended for over use before the opening pitches even took place! We did get the account reinstated just in time to share the pitches in almost real time as they took place, 22 pitches in 22 minutes and so many of them fascinating ideas! For those of you playing at home if you are looking to cover an event extensively and share information through Twitter its best to contact them ahead of time to get an extension on our daily post numbers, which is how we got the account back online just in time with only a few beads of sweat upon my brow! We also had a dedicated team of photographers and videographers capturing the night and chatting to people in the audience getting amongst the excitement and the stories of opening night pitches, one of the mentors across the weekend Emma Beames had a chat to us for a video earlier in the week and mentioned that Friday nights pitches are the most exciting part of the weekend for her, that moment where people have 60 seconds to put themselves and their idea out there.
After Pitches on Friday night, everyone comes together to vote on the top ideas, then those that pitches the chosen ideas form teams. Then they get to work.
Saturday is all about getting things done, and Mentors arrive around 1pm to check in with their progress and to offer advice. In the morning my team and I interviewed all 11 teams about their ideas and their experiences across the morning, we also interviewed mentors such as Vinh Giang, one of Startup Weekend Adelaide’s inaugural winner’s and named SA Entrepreneur of the year. The team went about recording all the fun things they saw and sharing them across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, they also wrote alot of blogs about the experiences of everyone involved in the event. Perhaps one of the quirkiest things they put together was this video of the Teams “Elevator Pitches” for their ideas forcing them to practise what they were to present on Sunday night in 17 seconds or less. Check out the link above, it’s a pretty fun watch!
Sunday came around all too quickly for our competing teams and my Social Media team with so much footage still to edit, so many photos to upload and so many blogs to polish… but soon enough we found ourselves in the Bradley Forum of the Hawke Building at UniSA listening to Adelaide City Councilman Houssam Abiad sharing his advice for South Australian Entrepreneurs.
Soon it was time for the final pitches, I had two photographers on the prowl, a Google rep feeding content to a new GooglePlus Community as well as live Tweeting and Instagramming, two videographers filmng alternate pitches and two of us on the hotdesk uploading pitches in almost real time whilst actively Tweeting content and engaging with our audiences. What an absolute rush to be able to open up the bubble that is Startup Weekend Adelaide to those who couldn’t physically be with us on the night. To be able to keep that bubble open and share that content, those experiences with people who are deciding whether or not participate at the next Startup Weekend, which I believe is scheduled for July so stay posted!
One of the people who couldn’t be there for Sunday night pitches was a participant Michael who was pulled away for a family emergency, when I chatted to him on Tuesday he mentioned how fantastic it was being able to watch the final pitches and follow the twitter feed on Sunday night and catch up on the video content uploaded on Monday including our interviews with the winning teams. His comment made all the hard work with this fantastic team worth it. We have successfully share the stories of those involved in Startup Weekend Adelaide 4.0 this weekend just passed. Hopefully we can get onboard earlier next Startup Weekend and keep sharing these stories just that little bit further… that is if I don’t get the courage to sign up, pitch an idea and participate next July!
Till next time, keep sharing those stories and if you liked this one share it too!