Interview with Startup Weekend Alumnus: Wout Laban

10/21/2014 | By Stephanie van der A

This post originally appeared on

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Wout Laban

Age: 24


Startup weekends attended: 5 (2 as an organiser)


When and where was your first Startup weekend?

In the beautiful city of Groningen, back then my home town. During my first startup weekend I was still a student and barely knew what a startup was, let alone how to start one. The weekend was full of surprises for me, a true roller coaster where I learned loads of stuff about words like; customer development, lean methodology and pitching. But also what networking actually meant.

The event was a true eye opener for me, I'd say it was my introduction to the wonderful world of startups!

What is the most important thing you learned during startup weekend?

Two things really stand out from my first Startup Weekend:

1. I already knew that you could do a lot in a short time, but to actually experience it was a amazing. To have an idea with a group of strangers and within two days turn that idea into something real (in our case really something, not just an app but a fully operating balcony farm.) 

2. My skill-set: I learned that I had certain talents that were a true value for the team, but I also learned that there we so many things I had never even knew existed. Something you can only learn by experiencing (and failing at) it.

What is your favourite SW-project?

I think it has to be one of my own projects. It was at Startup Weekend Cologne. I pitched an idea that I wanted a service that would send me: A Daily Reminder to Not Shave Your Beard. It was an instant hit! We had so much fun the whole weekend. Almost everybody at the event got involved with our project and through all the fun I connected with so many people, one of the true powers of Startup Weekend.

The best thing, I actually did not shave for 6 months and had a bad-ass beard!

If you have to convince someone to join #SwGro14 in a few words, how would you do that?

Your life will not get easier after attending a Startup Weekend, but it will get more awesome!

Anything else you want to say about Startup weekend?

Thank you!