Preparing for Startup Weekend

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The Cagayan de Oro Startup Weekend happening in July is the first ever for the city. This means majority of the participants will be new to the whole SW concept. This will make the event doubly exciting. The experience can be quite nerve-wracking and intimidating. But then again, you won’t be alone. Practically everybody who will be joining the 54-hour brainstorming will be nervous.

To help you get ahead of the game, though, here are some tips. Consider these as your way of preparing for your first Startup Weekend.

  • First things first. Don’t let your nerves get the best of you. Yes, thinking of spending one weekend with people you do not know will scare and intimidate you. Add to this the fact that you may not be as knowledgeable as the other participants. These are common feelings and reactions. You are not the first first-timer; there are quite a lot in every Startup Weekend. So, to help ease your nerves; to help you forget your fears, keep in mind that you’re not the only one who’s nervous and trying to feel his way through. Boost your self-confidence a little by telling yourself you matter because you are a part of SW. Talk to people. Smile. Feel good. This will give you positive vibes that will resonate throughout the 54-hour weekend.
  • After the Friday pitch, you and the other participants will be busy finding and creating a team. Find a group you want to work with because the project interests you. Never pick a group or team just because it is popular or because you know somebody there. When you set out to do something, it should be something that you like; not something you are forced to like!
  • Control yourself. Learn how to deal with people. You’ll meet practically every type of individual you can ever imagine. If there’s going to be a friendly team member, there’s bound to be someone who thinks of himself as the king of the world. Don’t let this person get to the best of you. Just do what you’re supposed to do and accomplish things. If you think you’re acting like a prick, get a hold of yourself and check your attitude. Your success at a Startup Weekend depends greatly on how you interact and deal with people.
  • Acknowledge the areas where you excel, as well as those where you need some improvement or additional work. If you’re confident about something you’re good at, share this skill or specialty with the team. Interact with your teammates and teach them all that you can. If there’s something you do not understand, or something you want to know about or learn, do not hesitate to ask for help. Pride has no room at any Startup Weekend. Remember, you work as a team, so you should act like a team.
  • Radiate with honesty and sincerity. If you’re true to your word and you mean what you say, this will show in your actions and in how people see you. Build relationships by paying attention to people. Don’t just talk to them, listen to them, too. When you ask questions, sincerely listen and understand to what a person is saying. Don’t just listen to what he is saying; you need to also feel what he is trying to convey. Also, do not choose the people you interact with. There is no gender, age, social and political status, or belief segregation in any Startup Weekend. Don’t change things by starting one. Your main aim is to connect with as many and as diverse a people as possible.

Learn these tips and follow them as best as you can. The moment you do so, you’ll slowly feel the nerves relax. You’ll be more excited and curious than nervous. The Startup Weekend, after all, is a momentous event that can significantly change your life. Everything is actually up to you. So, make the most of your experience by being the best that you can be.

The first CDO Startup Weekend is brought to you by the Cagayan de Oro ICT Business Council, Developers Connect/DevCon, Ideaspace, DOST-ICTO, and Microsoft. It will be a 3-day event, from July 11 to 13, at Capitol University. Registration is done through http://cdo.startupweekend.org/. Details are also available through the SW CDO Facebook page. Discounts will be given to early registrants, so sign up now and get ready for the time of your life!