What is Startup Weekend?
Startup Weekend is a 54-hour weekend event which brings together developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more in order to pitch ideas for new startup companies. From there, they can form teams around those ideas and begin to develop a working prototype or presentation. The event starts on a Friday night and ends with the final presentation and award ceremony on Sunday evening. Even though the event ends on Sunday, a fair share of participants will end up working together beyond that to build a fully operating startup whilst others would take with them the bootcamp experience and also have a network of similar minded people.
Since its inception, Startup Weekend has developed into a platform that has a truly global presence. As of July 2015, Startup Weekend reached 135 countries, and involved more than 210,000 entrepreneurs.
Adding Sri Lanka to its list of countries, Startup Weekend will be conducted in Jaffna from the first time even in Sri Lankan history from the 24th to the 26th of June 2016. This is indeed an exciting bit of news for all startup entrepreneurs, coders and everyone in-between.
Starting from 6.30 PM on Friday (24th) registration will be done, Welcome speech, Dinner, Startup pitches ideas will be selected and teams will be formed. By late Friday night you’ll be all set for the weekend with a set of goals set and roles assigned.
Saturday (25th) is all about validation. This involves contacting potential customers and checking out if there is really a market for your idea, and reacting fast if you need to change. If you’re a developer or a designer on the other hand, you’ll be rather busy with building the product.
Sunday (26th) is show day. It’s all about making it work and preparing for the final pitch to a panel of industry experts AKA judges. Throughout the process, mentors from all backgrounds will be on hand.
What are the benefits of attending Startup Weekend?
Well, for starters, Startup Weekends are all about learning by creating. Instead of just sitting there listening to the theory, you are given the chance to build your own strategy and test it as you go. In addition, you can also build your network to have long-lasting relationships after which you can even walk away with a job or even an investor.
Because local tech and startup leaders participate in Startup Weekends as mentors and judges, you get some one-on-one time with the movers and shakers in your community.
Fun fact: Startup Weekends cost anywhere between $75 and $99 (and even less for students). Your ticket covers seven meals, snack, access to exclusive resources, and all the coffee you can drink. In addition, as a #SWJ Attendee, you will get special discount from Tilko City Hotel.
How can I be a part of this?
Well, in order to participate in Startup Weekend, you will need a ticket. This ticket entitles you to the full event and all its related material. There are three types of tickets; Business, Design and Technical. Each ticket can be purchased separately.
For example, the Business ticket (called Hopping Hustlers) applies to business, marketing & PR, and anyone with a non-technical background. Students use the discount code “STUDENT” to avail a flat 50 % discount of USD $25. You will have to show your ID card/ student id for verification at the registration desk.
Tickets for Design (called Aesthetic Designers) applies to anybody with a background in design (graphics, UX/UI, creative artists, films, animation, etc.). Again, Students can use the discount code “STUDENT” to avail a flat 50 % discount of IUSD $25. You will have to show your ID card/ student id for verification at the registration desk.
Finally, the Technical ticket (called Nerdy Hackers) applies to software engineers/ coders/ developers/ techies – in short, anyone who can and will write code. Students use the discount code “STUDENT” to avail a flat 50 % discount of USD $25. You will have to show your ID card/ student id for verification at the registration desk.
Additionally, if you can’t make it for the entire weekend, but are still interested in the final demos, you can purchase the Spectacular Spectators ticket to watch the final presentation and award ceremony and also to enjoy the Gala Dinner.
Tickets can be purchased from here. Ticket sale ends on the 24th of June.
To learn more about Startup Weekend Jaffna and to also see a list of speakers, click here.
We are also happy to announce that ReadMe will be the official Digital Media Partner for Startup Weekend Jaffna so if you see us there, don’t be afraid to come and say Hey.
We hope to see you there.