Alumni Story – Discover and learn!

11/08/2017 | By Maaike van der Post

This post originally appeared on

An interview with Diganta Talukdar

What do you love about Startup Weekend?

Startup weekend inspires me. The event enables participants to share and present a range of startup ideas. These ideas might not be that great in the beginning, but the fact that people can speak up and share their idea with others is what makes Startup Weekend so great. In my case, I went to Startup Weekend without an idea, yet when everyone was pitching their ideas, I felt inspired and so I was compelled to pitch as well. The idea came out of the blue, but after I had pitched it, it felt awesome.

Why do you think it is such a great idea to participate as an international student?

For me it was a great idea to participate as the opportunity because I like to develop my entrepreneurial skills. Besides that, I truly love creativity and innovation. For that reason, Startup Weekend suits me perfectly. I am happy that I am getting to know a lot of innovative Dutch people as well!

I think that more international students have to go to Startup Weekend because you don’t learn the pragmatic side of business at universities. At Startup Weekend you can learn a lot about public speaking. Individuals conceive ideas, prepare business model canvas and strategise the financial side of an idea and the marketing plan. Repeating these processes makes you feel more confident in real life business situations. The event functions as a springboard for learning how to work with opportunities in the future.

What is your best Startup Weekend moment and what did you learn about it?

There are actually many! The best thing is that you get to spend a lot of time with people, and that you are working together with them all day and night. One of my favourite moments at the startup weekend was when we camped, over the summer edition of Startup Weekend at Eelde Airport. I also rode my bike from Groningen to the Eelde and that was a great experience. We had a barbecue, and another moment was working with group of people from different career backgrounds. You learn a lot of things such as how to integrate and work with people from diverse disciplines, improve your ideas and respect others views and as the work is encouraging; you can really go Non-stop during the weekend and there are lots of unexpected moments of challenges which make it memorable.

Do you like the way of learning?

The practical way of learning is always challenging, but it is also the most rewarding. Seeing the way in which one functions in a group is always a benefit, and it is not about winning the contest either, it is about being willing to take risks and learn from one’s mistakes. During my studies I have to learn theoretical concepts from my books, this event adds a very real, and a very practical dimension to the theory that I have learnt.


Can you remember your ultimate out of your comfort zone moment?

It happened during my first Startup Weekend. I listened to everyone pitching their idea, and all I remember is that I wanted that too. But, as I said, I had no idea for my pitch yet. I was digging my deepest thoughts, and then all of a sudden something crossed my mind. So I was standing in line, and someone gave me the microphone, and so I did my pitch. At that moment, I felt more out of my comfort zone than I have ever been. Especially since I didn’t prepare anything at all. But it was exhilarating and well worth it to share my ideas.

What would you say to other students?

Everyone who is creative, and likes start-ups is very much encouraged to go to startup weekend. You don’t have to come with an idea, you can participate as a team as well. You can always come prepared; come with an idea you want to share with others. Also, the people at startup weekend are great, the atmosphere is awesome, and the parties are wonderful. Students don’t have to be scared to participate, because I think everyone feels pretty anxious in the beginning. No one knows if their idea will be good enough, but that’s the best thing; if you have an idea, speak it out!


No one knows if their idea is good enough,

so if you have an idea, speak it out.

Diganta Talukdar

Let’s celebrate the startup community during the 10th edition of Startup Weekend Groningen.

In just 54 hours, you will experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup. As you learn how to create a real company, you'll meet the very best mentors, investors, co-founders, and sponsors who are ready to help you get started. Your community is here to help you.

Go to for more info and tickets!