Sunday, October 26, 2014

Startup Weekend Buffalo October 2014 - Part 1

Startup Weekend Buffalo - October 2014

Buffalo Startup Weekend was held at DIG on October 24-26, 2014. It is another reason to get involved, and start a business and create something better for the community and possibly the world!

There is a simple format to this weekend, come with an idea, or come to help an idea. Over 150 people were registered to form teams and create something over the 50+ hour span.
Kudos to the organizers and hosts, the BNMC for allowing the event to be held at DIG and to all the sponsors. You can read more about it, from the link off the picture above. 

So let me just give you the overall setup for first night, so if you didn't take part this time, you have another year or so to perfect your idea, pitch or skills to help you get acquainted with the event.

The event started with an opening reception of Beer, Coffee (and pop and water too), Pizza, Wings and Salad and lots of conversations and networking. All to help you size up potential teammates in the DIG space. It just made for a energetic start to the evening.

So then the organizers get started and thank everyone who is involved. Mark Branden, Jon Spitz and Steve Poland were the main hosts and a lot of organizing and outreach happened to make this event very successful. Thank you for your hard work on this event. There are others and I could write a blog on each of them too as the team is phenomenal. 

Big crowd on hand this year!

Jessica Edwards makes sure everything is perfect here at DIG! You must go and see her and DIG and I know you will be hooked!

Some pretty big players in this picture including from left to right, Nick Barone, Dan Gigante, Dan Magnuszewski, Steve Raines, Bill Palisano, Dave Thiemecke and Peter Ronca. Lots of great Local Entrepreneurs here!

Joel Columbo a past winner of Startup Weekend Buffalo getting the crowd warmed up!

And then the great ice breaker called Half Baked starts. This is where all participants are broken into 10-12 teams and given two names to form a company together. It gets everyone out of their comfort zone and then one of each team gets the microphone to pitch their idea to the entire audience. Fun networking game and gets everyone starting to meet and think of forming their relationships for the weekend.

After "Half Baked" the real "Pitches" start. That is where anyone with an idea that wants to start something this weekend lines up, and is given 60 seconds to pitch that idea.
Here are just 3 of 40+ ideas that were shared Friday night!


Once the Pitches are completed, the next round happens, get the details of that idea on a large sticky note along with what you might need (Legal, Marketing, Programming, Web Design, etc...). Then present the idea to many people you can as each participant is given 3 stickers to place as a vote for a contestant, you can spread them out or put all on 1 if you like.

Finally the ideas are presented one last time in front of all participants and the request for needs go out. This is where teams get formed and their 50+ hour journey begins. 

I am on the InfoTech Niagara Board and we are one of the many sponsors of this event. Being a part of the InfoTech Board gives me access to these kind of events and I am very happy to share them with anyone who wants to see what is happening in Buffalo. I am proud to be from such a supportive community of partners in Buffalo and Western New York. 

I will update you with a new blog on who were the finalists.

Buffalo Startup Weekend

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