I had the pleasure of working with my friends over at Startup Weekend earlier this year on a new version of Startup Weekend titled "Rise of the Designer". "Startup Weekends are 54 hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch startups." Startup Weekend has always had the business side of things down but has also had a history of lacking in the creative departement. Not only that, they wanted to push creatives to do more than just design. Creatives are problem solvers and can be team leaders not just service providers. Startup Weekend is the perfect venue for creatives to take their best shot at an entrepreneurial journey. It was really interesting to see creatives take lead and push ideas forward to being built. Some struggled and some prevailed. My good friend and startup junkie Kyle Kesterson took the lead on this project and with the success of this Seattle event, now will be pushing Rise of the Designer in other major cities such as New York and San Francisco. I'm keeping my fingers crossed in hopes that I'll be able to document those events as well!
Startup Weekend has changed my life and the way I think. I've never pitched an idea but I have been part of a team and the experience was amazing. You look at life in a whole different way. Instead of saying "this sucks" and living with it, you start to think about how to make it better. Wether that's a new way to track busses, find food, get dates, or provide water to a place where they live without, Startup Weekend fosters ideas and the people that can execute on them. I love the community and empowerment. It's really easy to sit back and complain, but why not step up to the plate and actually try to change something for the better? If you have ever had that "million dollar idea" while watching TV late night, write it down and find a Startup Weekend near you. Pitch the idea and see if it sticks. You may just make your first million.
Here's the film we shot over the course of the weekend documenting how one team went from pitching to presenting and all in between. If you're interested in a Rise of the Designer, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. He'd love to help you get there.
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