From participant to mentor: “Great connections, positive vibe and … the second place!”
This post originally appeared on blog.up.co
Startup Weekend brings together all kinds of people. No matter how different we are, our intention is the same - to improve, to learn, to socialize. However, not everyone wins, and not everyone comes back again to share what they have learnt during the past year. I am happy to introduce Guilherme, our delegated Mentor and, proud to say, a successful entrepreneur. His participation at Startup Weekend brought him valuable connections, which are now essential for his business growth. Over the years his business faced ups n' downs, and now he is willing to share some advices, based on his personal experience. Enjoy reading his journey at Startup Weekend, and do not forget to write down some useful tips for your own.
So, tell us something about your participation at SwUtrecht’16...
I had a very positive overall experience. I have met a lot of talented people out there, including participants who already own businesses. Also, I was very pleased with the high paced program. There was a high amount of energy floating around the group of young and ambitious people. I had fun talking with everyone and I liked the competitive element of the program.
What was your motivation for attending the event?
I really wanted to meet entrepreneurial like-minded people as well as to be inspired by new ideas and concepts.
Could you introduce your pitching idea, or should I name it ExamenOverzicht now?
Not exactly. At Startup Weekend last year, I worked with a team on an app that helps people find the perfect roommate. The app was called Roomie and our team ended up in a second place, which was great. But in everyday life, I am the owner of ExamenOverzicht.nl, a platform that helps Dutch high school students prepare for their final exams.
What did you gain out of the event?
I am very happy that I have partnered with a great team of Coffee IT people who are now building a new web app and mobile hybrid app for ExamenOverzicht. The new app will provide high value for our customers and help us grow the business.
What about the atmosphere there?
In one word: energetic! The atmosphere was fun and vibrant, there was a contagious positive vibe and competitive spirit. I am really looking forward to be inspired again by the upcoming edition of Startup Weekend!
As far as we know, this year you come back as a mentor. Sounds great! How come?
I have become a big fan of the event and would like to act as an ambassador for Startup Weekend. I hope that my business experience will add value for beginning entrepreneurs.
Many potential entrepreneurs struggle at the beginning of their business journey, so to say. Do you have any advice for our starters, based on your own experience?
I do! Here are some practical tips:
- The best way to get a startup idea, is not to brainstorm, but to focus on finding a solution to a personal frustration. If you are frustrated by something, chances are someone else is also frustrated about it.
- When you have an idea, convert it into a product by building a test version - the basic concept of your product, just to get a feedback. I would agree with Reid Hoffman, who said “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you launched too late”.
- Gather as much feedback as you can, and improve the product continuously. You are on the right track if customer’s feedback slowly shifts from ‘things to improve’ to compliments.
- Choose your business partners wisely. You will work with them for years (hopefully), so make sure you know them well before you start an adventure together.
- Making the right choices. When you start to earn money, don’t spend it on luxurious things you don’t need, but instead invest that money back into your company.
Any business goals for this year?
This year’s goal for my website ExamenOverzicht.nl is to triple in revenue again, as we have done every year over the last 4 years. Our main objective is to be the number 1 platform to help high school students graduate for their final exam in 2020.
- Want to win? Get ready!
- Want to improve public speaking skills? Read this!
- Get to know your Mentor: Part 1 and Part 2!
Build your own experience! Get more advices on how to become a successful entrepreneur!
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