Startup Weekend Hamburg: Three Days To Develop Ideas

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From June 3rd-5th Hamburg Startup Weekend will be held to boost the community. Here's what to expect from this 54 hour event & why you should get one of the last tickets!

What is the event about?

The idea behind it is rather simple. Whoever has an idea for a company or a product can come and pitch it to the crowd in 60 seconds. The crowd votes for the idea they prefer and teams of at least three people are formed. “Two is a pair, three is a team”, says Serhat Kaya, one of the organizers.

Every team then has two days to develop the idea, be advised by mentors, and then pitch again. The three best pitches receive a non-cash prize, because the Startup Weekend is not about founding a company or finding investors: is about educating people and developing ideas. It’s focused on learning-by-doing and teamwork rather than on lectures and mentoring.

For the more eager to learn, the day before the event there is always a bootcamp about a relevant topic: this year is about the legislation relevant for founding a company.

What can you expect?

During the years there have been different trends among the participants: designers, developers, entrepreneurs. And they’re all equally welcome to the event, because all the aspects of product creation are covered, from the business model creation to market validation, passing through coding and designing. It’s a condensed entrepreneurial experience meant to get people ready for the real thing, including the critical evaluation from local entrepreneurs, that are part of the jury. After every day of hard work, there is always time to relax with music, drinks, and networking.

What do you get?

As the organizers like to call it, a “startup crash course”: new and improved skills, new connections with people that might inspire you, mentor you, and maybe even become your next business partner, and the opportunity to build something real.

In fact, there are some success stories. After participating in the Weekend in 2011, two sisters founded SugarShape, an online shop selling affordable, high quality underwear designed for bigger cups and plus-than-a-mannequin’s sizes.
Other examples are the e-commerce tool Akanoo (Startup Weekend 2013); ShelfSailor, a website that helps people find storage space, stickerabo for sticker distribution, and Coachimo, the platform for personal coaches and people seeking them (Startup Weekend 2014).
Last year the Weekend contributed to the creation of four more companies: Pendula, for sustainable management of resources and industrial waste, AlbumUp which allows professional photographer to deliver their work in a safe way directly via Dropbox, Nachbarthek, an online library which just recently went live, and CheatSheet, which will go live after the summer.

What’s in it for the organizers?

No one is making money out of the weekend. All the participation fees cover the costs of the venue, mentors, food and drinks. The main purpose of the weekend is to educate people with ideas and get them ready to bring their companies in the real world, and present them to the “old money”.

“The one problem with startup environment in Hamburg and in Germany is general, is that the traditional business world, where all the money is, and the startups, where all the ideas are, don’t really interact.” says Serhat.

And only by bringing this two worlds together it’s possible to boost the local startup environment.

How to join?

This year’s event will already take place from June 3rd-5th at the Betahaus: there are a few tickets left and there’s time to join until the first day. If you’re not sure you want to join right away, you can follow the Facebook page and stay tuned for the next events.

See you there!


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Photo Credit: Startup Weekend Hamburg