Galway Startup Weekend
The team (Laura and I, two people count as a team) spent our weekend doing Galway Startup Weekend. It’s a start up initiative. You have a group of people (about 60-70 at the Galway event) of varying skill sets that form mini companies and develop a business idea. At the end you pitch to a panel of judges and if you win the prizes are pretty great.
It was definitely the best 40 euro I’ve spent in quite a while.
You start off milling around a big room, holding tiny cups of tea and forcing your business cards on people (well that’s what we did anyway). Then when the event kicked off, anyone was allowed to go up and pitch for 60 seconds. The criteria was that idea hadn’t been developed beyond a VERY preliminary stage (no website, no clients etc). Out of 30 entries, a top 12 were picked. Those leaders then recruited a team and you worked solidly from 8pm Friday night to 5pm Sunday evening. You could eat and sleep if you wanted to, but that was just time wasting.
It was extremely high stress and high pressure, and I’m slightly worried about myself because I know that I enjoyed it immensely. I have always been the sort of person who hates lying on a beach all day though, so maybe this makes sense. Never happy unless I have a stress headache.
Our team came second! Caterina Lodo, our team leader, pitched the idea of a comprehensive website of dog services. Groomers, trainers, boarders and carers can apply to feature on the site, and people can rate them and book online, similar to a Trip Advisor/Air B&B format. We get our millions by taking a booking fee. We’re planning to fully develop the website so hopefully you’ll see it nestled in the Fractalise portfolio soon.
In the meantime, check out Caterina’s incredible photography portfolio, and hire her because she is really great: www.caterinalodo.com.
The organisers, mentors and judges were incredibly helpful, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. You should most certainly check out all the photos and updates from the weekend on Twitter, although we were involved in a tweeting battle between all the other global startup weekends so there are a lot of tweets: @galstartweekend.