- Startup Weekend in Bloomington is an amazing learning experience filled with lots of great ideas, validated learning, and some really amazing people. It's an inspiring experience that is sure to sharpen the lives of all of those involved.
Thank you to the Organizers and SponsorsThe organizers, Matthew Burris, Jessica Falkenthal, John Adamson, Paul Simacek, and Chris White did a fantastic job of making sure the teams were well fed, had plenty of technical help, and were great resources to get the startup teams anything that they needed. A special thank you to Matt Burris for working so hard and for putting the entire weekend on his credit card!
The event was held at the Indiana University Technology Park at 10th and the Bypass in Bloomington. The facilities are top-notch and it's no wonder that IU is leading the way in information technology, Human Computer Interaction, Informatics, cyber-security, and so many other fields. A special thank you must also be extended to the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech State College in Bloomington and to the Indiana University Kelley School of Business for co-sponsoring the event.
A Wealth of Networking and IdeasThe event kicked off on Friday evening at 6:30pm with over 65 entrepreneurs, and 14 mentors attending. After a scrumptious dinner of chinese takeout, we anxiously gathered together and listened to 18 different 60 second pitches of innovate and exciting business ideas.
- One of my favorite tweetable moments (one of MANY) was from @ntippmann saying that to have a really good startup team, you need a hacker, a hustler, and a hipster on your team. Working on a team with @ntippmann last year at the Lean Startup Machine in Chicago, Illinois (another great startup event) was a pleasure and we were awarded the Hustler Award! At first, I wasn't really sure what to think, but he assured me that it was a very good thing. :-)
It's All About The TeamIt was decided that the best choice would be to focus on find some of the best talent in the room and to network with them to find matching interests and skills. It was a really tough choice because there was SO much talent surrounding us. Some really strong teams were formed and one of the best things about the weekend was introducing yourself, and collaborating on ideas.
One of the most personal and hardest decisions that I made over the course of the weekend was to forgo working with a very good friend and mentor that has several great ideas and a very valuable asset. Steve, you deserve more than a simple thank you for helping to ignite my career in technology as a high school student at Bloomington High School North back in 1998.
In 1995 he founded BlueMarble Information Services, the first company in Bloomington to provide Internet access to the general public. Through his outreach and participation in the Franklin Initiative, I was chosen as one of a select few high school students who received an opportunity to work in the field to get real-world experience. Thank you for giving back so much to the community, Steve.
- After struggling with that decision, I focused on joining a team that just clicked with my ideals and was spearheaded by a great guy, Tom McGrath. His idea for a social startup business that focuses on good karma, positive feelings, and sharing what you are thankful for was something that I could easily invest time and energy into. The fact that Tom is extremely bright, educated here at the Kelley School of Business made it even more compelling. The choice was made and we immediately began to work on assembling the rest of our team. We quickly found support from Deepak, and Angela, and we immediately started brainstorming about what was possible with our different, but complementary skillsets. Angelica put it best, "I am really thankful for an awesome team and being able to work on a cool project that will help people share their joy and the happiness that they have in their life."
- The Simple Thank You Team
- There were so many great people at the event between the organizers, sponsors, speakers, judges, and the other startup teams, it's hard to see how anybody could not be thankful for taking part in this type of an event. The Simple Thank You team wants to congratulate everyone on creating some amazing buzz on Twitter, on Facebook, and for sharing your experience with your friends and family members. Whether your team continues on to further build your business or your team decides to work on other projects, I think we can all say that we are better off for going through such an amazing, innovative, and exciting Startup Weekend. Thank you to all of you who participated and we look forward to keeping in touch. Go Hoosiers! :-)