Startup Kicked Off This Monday
Startup Weekend Tampa is just around the corner, but the kickoff party happened this Monday! If you wanted to gain a head start, learn a little more about pitching your idea, or just meet some really great people before you spent a weekend with them, the Startup Weekend kickoff party was the place to be! As the media sponsor for Startup Weekend Tampa, we knew we had to be there, so if you missed it don’t fret, here are some highlights!
Building Success in a Micro-Enterprise
Sara Hand, president of Gulf Coast Venture Forum, kicked it off with an informative talk on micro-enterprise. Lesson learned: know what you are. Are you a small business that wants to grow up to be a big business or do you aspire to be a micro-enterprise?
Whatever you decide, do your research and know this acronym: REST
Your business model should be:
The point? Be prepared and ready for your business to grow, so when you do finally get that “yes” you’ve been waiting for, you already have a model that is ready to grow with you.
How to Pitch Your Idea at Startup Weekend
Elizabeth Colon followed up with a great presentation on how to (and how not to) pitch yourself/idea. Armed with a stream of videos that showed how not to pitch, she came at us with a fresh perspective and a simple plan:
- Tell them who you are.
- State the problem.
- Explain your solution.
- Tell a story if that works for you.
But most important, keep it simple. Jargon doesn’t impress anyone, so just be real.
Grooveshark and the Magic LAMP
Finally to close it all out, we heard from one of our sponsors: Grooveshark.
How did Grooveshark get its start? The company’s very first employee, Paulo Da Silva, explained his first job interview: two guys in an office with a note taped to the door and cardboard boxes for desks.
Takeaway from Grooveshark? Here are 7 things you should know about a startup before you begin:
- Prototyping: Fail but fail fast: Do the least amount of work to get your business up and running and focus on your core concept.
- Buying more hardware is not always the answer
- You don’t need to be an expert: Passion + brains = experience
- Don’t reinvent the wheel, try contributing to open sources
- Take the time to learn your tool and REALLY know it
- Constantly reevaluate your strategy
- Don’t follow trends blindly. Instead, ask yourself if it’s really going to benefit you and what you’re doing
Paulo also told me the most important thing is that you don’t need a lot of money or a big team—you just need passion.
I met some great people and heard some interesting ideas: from beer apps, to magic zippers, to women-empowering-women dreams, and urban memorabilia! Just from the handful of people who came out to the kickoff party, I’m convinced Startup Weekend will be great! So get ready, Tampa!