This was my first time at a Startup Weekend or a Hackathon so I was looking forward to the experience and to see what really goes on under the hood at this event. So why was I here, well I have had this idea brewing in my head for a long time and so I decided why not take a shot at it and see what it is.
The idea was an “opendata” platform similar to Google Public Data (http://www.google.com/publicdata/directory) and lack of any government initiatives in Uganda leaves an opportunity for such an intervention.
I got to the venue at 4pm, started mingling with the people who were already there, some whom I had met the previous night at the Google Sponsored Pre-Event Bootcamp ( http://startupweekend.org/google/google-sw/) whose focus was Gaming on Android. As more people walked in the energy in the room became intense, with excitement, “geek” words flying left right and center, and a concentration of geek activities, game consoles out, rock music, movies as we waited for the “festivities” to begin.
The introductions were led by Richard Zulu, GTUG lead, and there were presentations by Ben Maina, CEO Rupu Limited who provided excellent ideas for how to manage startup growth based on lessons from a stratup then Apiyo Laboke, Mara Foundation on how startups can receive support from VCs.
Nextup were 60 second pitches for the different ideas available, well being my first time, I decided to go first with the Databud pitch. 60 seconds is a very short time and I was not able to complete my pitch, but it seemed to be well received. There were 34 additional pitches made by the end of the evening.
Next step was voting for the pitches, where each attendee was given 3 stick-it notes to place on the projects they are interested in. This was the moment of truth for the product pitches since those without sufficient votes would be whittled down … Of the 35 pitches available only 16 were selected to move forward ….
Now that the work was done, the next step was to attract teams of which DataBud attracted 3 members and we were ready to get to work …
Unfortunately we lost Internet connectivity and so there ended Day 1 … It was exciting, high tension and now crunch time …
Follow the rest of the days actions at
- Startup Weekend Day 2 – Platform, Mentors, Coding, Product Positioning, Decisions during Execution
- Startup Weekend Day 3 – 60 sec pitch, Customer Validation, Business Value, Wrap Up and Lessons Learnt