54: A Facilitator's Guide to Startup Weekend
This post originally appeared on blog.up.co
By Anirudh Balakrishnan
Startup Weekend and the facilitators that over see each event aim to keep a productive and highly collaborative working environment.
The objective of an SW event is not to simply be one up on the teams that are formed. Rather, its to experience the energy a healthy, supportive eco system can give each Weekender. Its to see that every participant is learning and teaching simultaneously.
Think "what can I learn from that person?"
Proactive participation is the most fruitful way to enjoy the SW experience. While we encourage focus on your team's work, we also encourage that you take some time out to see what others are upto. If you feel like it, even help them with your thoughts on their idea or fill out a survey for their validation process or help them with a connect to an expert/potential client/UI or UX insight etc. Help Openly.
Think "That other team could have a better product if they knew that airports work this way, lemme share that that with one of their teammates over lunch."
Very often SW will be the first one to give you a voice. Cease the opportunity and speak freely. Don't worry about being laughed at, worry about not having said what you thought.
If you can walk out at the end of the event remembering everyone's name, who they are, what they do and what you thought they were good at, you've had a successful SW experience.
Recognition, co-founders, techies, more events, lots more work, funding and scaling will be a natural consequence of this very first, fundamental step. Enjoy it. Bask in it. No talk All action.