Columbus Start Up Weekend

This past weekend (April 3, 4, and 5th) the second “Start Up Weekend” was held in Columbus with over 200 people in attendance.  Startup Weekend recruits a highly motivated group of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more to a 54-hour event that builds communities, companies and projects.  If you’d like to see more about the weekend, check out the following links:  or

The participants that attend a Start Up Weekend decide what they want to tackle over the weekend and come out at the end with several developed companies or projects.  The agenda for our weekend was as follows:

  • Friday:  At 6:00 PM a group session starts that including networking and sponsor introductions.  At 7pm: attendees have 1 minute to get in front of the group and explain their business concept.  Approximately 75 pitches were presented.  Next the group voted on the top 10 best pitches.  Once the best 10 or so concepts were chosen, people were allowed to select what concept / team they’d like to work on.  By 8:30 PM teams were working on refining and improving concepts and getting a plan / vision for Saturday and Sunday.
  • Saturday: 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM teams worked on their business plans and concepts.
  • Saturday Lunch:  Guest speaker, Wil Schroter serial entrepreneur and VC gave a great informal talk entitled “Web 2.0 Is Dead” about starting companies and then took questions from the audience.
  • Sunday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM teams continue working on their new business.  At 6:00 PM each team is given approximately 10 minutes to pitch their concepts to the group.

It was an entertaining and enjoyable weekend for the following reasons:

  • Great people.  Meet many new people, and saw quite a few people that I don’t regularly get to see.  All good.
  • Loads of energy and enthusiasm for driving the Columbus technology community forward.  Great entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Good food, and loads of it.  The sponsors did a great job keeping everyone well fed.

What I’d like to see in future events:

  • Better ideas.  This one is a bit harsh, but in my opinion, the majority of the ideas were either to broad and therefore very difficult to implement, or simply to vague.  Not enough material, simple, ideas that people would be willing to buy.
  • More varied crowd.  Our participants were mostly young (20 – 30), and predominately coming at company starting from a high tech / software perspective.  Would have been great to have some older folks with great ideas around solving different consumer and business problems including those not directly related to software solutions.

I welcome your comments,
Mike Brannan