I just finished a great read for those passionate about supporting startups in any community. Startup Communities, by Brad Feld, relies on the example of Boulder, Colorado to illustrate how a community can help startups thrive. I was happy to see that the book acknowledges Seattle as another example of a community friendly to startups, and many of the concepts and efforts presented in the book will resonate with those involved in local startup efforts – you know who you are!
Brad mentions Startup Weekends as an example of an event where people can learn and experiment with entrepreneurship. Startup Weekends are competitions where people pitch their innovative ideas and form teams around the best ideas. They very quickly (literally, over the course of the weekend) turn the best ideas into product or service companies.
I recently had the opportunity to attend a Startup Weekend and, in talking with participants, I found three big reasons people spend their weekend doing this:
- The event is a learning experience – selecting valuable ideas, forming teams around them, and then going through the process of executing on the idea.
- There is a networking element between participants, coaches, organizers, judges, and those attending the awards.
- Some teams continue after the weekend concludes. Even some of the teams that don’t win continue to build their businesses after the event.
If you are curious about Startup Weekends, the library has an upcoming event (Sunday Nov. 23rd) that could be for you. This coming weekend, Startup Weekend EDU Seattle has chosen the Central Library as the place where teams will create education based companies. Librarians are going to support the business information needs of event participants throughout the weekend, assisting the teams as they turn innovative ideas into action. Professional coaches will also be on hand to help guide the teams in their efforts. Teen volunteers are coming out to give feedback to the teams on the products or services that they build.
On Sunday Nov. 23, the library is co-hosting the team demonstrations and judging of the products and services that the participants will build over the course of the weekend. You can attend this 3pm until 6pm event on Sunday Nov. 23 and see what all the excitement is all about. We are excited to see how it all turns out, and hope you will join us at the demos and judging! You don’t need to wait until Sunday, you can follow the action on Twitter (#SWEDUsea) as the teams and the library tweet out progress.
~posted by Jay