Startup Weekend (noun) – A 54 hour event that brings together people in the area to experience the same thing: validating an idea and seeing if it can start a business in 1 weekend.
Startup Weekend does the same thing in different places all around the world, being present in more countries than Coca-Cola. You learn how to build a working startup the best way: experience.
And with that I can’t wait for SW:QC to happen this weekend aka Sept 16-18. If you’re already sold and don’t want to read the rest of today’s article, hop on over to their FAQ and Eventbrite to purchase tickets for this amazing opportunity now.
But if you haven’t been sold on the idea of working on a startup all weekend yet for whatever reason, and you want to find out why The Border Collective is endorsing such an event (especially since neither of us are startup fanatics), then read on to find out why we’re talking about this great skills and resume booster today.
I’m Justine, my partner is Betina, and this is The Border Collective, where we talk about anything and everything internship related. We intern at the best places in the country, then we talk about it here on the blog.
While we’re busy interning during the semester, and while figuring out how much is too much to tell you guys, we have our super amazing interns fill in the gap with posts like #WorkLifeGoals, where we interview people who are literally work life goals, and Intern-view, where we interview people who interned somewhere we haven’t.
Today’s post is something new we’re doing called Fast Facts, where we feature events ambitious college students have to go to and what’s in it for them. This is the second post in the series, with the first being Woman Up 2016, which was really life changing for me guys.
I got the chance to talk to the organizers behind Startup Weekend QC, because they’ve partnered with the Ateneo Management Association aka AMA, an org in ADMU. One of my excellent friends, Kim Bairan, is the VP of Externals and useful nepotism happened. This really hammers home one of my beliefs in life: the kind of friends you keep come back to haunt you.
Anyways, here’s the 5 fast facts you need to know about Startup Weekend QC aka the best possible way to spend this upcoming weekend.
Thanks for reading and hope I wrote something useful for you!
SW:QC is being brought to you as a labor of love by 2 people with full-time jobs and a new dad.
I just got off a Skype call with Gem Fernandez and Genilyn Chua, ⅔ of the organizers behind SW:QC, and I just had to ask. “What are you getting out of this?” Turns out, nothing but the knowledge that they’re helping the college student scene here in Katipunan learn about the startup world.
Both Gem and Genilyn work full time in the corporate world, and are spending their free time organizing SW:QC because they want today’s college students to be exposed to the startup world. They got the idea after attending and enjoying Startup Weekend UP Los Banos, then realizing that more people need to be exposed to this different career path. Volunteering to lead the event, the 2 talked about what they saw in its Los Banos iteration that they wanted to bring to the ADMU version.
“Actually, there’s a Startup Weekend Manila that’s been going on for 3-4 years but we didn’t even know about it. So, we really wanted to bring the startup scene closer to the college kids of today for them to know that there’s other careers out there aside from corporate or further studies.
It’s really a non-traditional career path here in the Philippines, and also one that doesn’t have a lot of Ateneans in it yet. We felt that we wanted the community around here to know more about it, and with the rise of groups like Ateneo Startup Alliance (ASA), it felt like it was really a good time to launch this here.”
And about the new dad. The third organizer of SW:QC is one of the organizers of Startup Weekend UP Los Banos that the duo enlisted to help them navigate launching what is bound to be a hugely successful event here in the Katipunan community. He just also happens to be a new dad, ergo, he’s a little busy dealing with the even-farther-into-the-future generation.
Organizing it is a great way to network and learn about the startup community here in the Philippines. Joining it is pretty solid too.
Gem and Gen, as I will now refer to them, talked about the overwhelming support and generosity they received from the local startup community while in the fledgling stages of putting up SW:QC.
From the lineup of judges and speakers (which you can read here. Spoiler alert: they are really big names in the industry that are tempting me to buy a ticket just to meet them) to the cool prizes that the startup sponsors are giving out, Startup Weekend QC is being pushed to success by a great and loving community.
“The startup scene here in the Philippines is really young and small; everyone knows each other and because of that, we want to push a lot more young people to get into it because sometimes it just takes a push. The community is so strong and supportive, especially of younger people coming in so that the older ones can pass the torch and the knowledge they have to better the community.
When Toni-Jan aka TJ (the third organizer) or Alvin Chan introduces us to anyone who can be a key resource for SW:QC, be it through email or even FB chat, the response is always overwhelmingly positive. Like they’ll go
‘It’s so great that you guys are trying to bring it to the college communities, I want to help you anyway I can. Here are more resources or more contacts who can help. Feel free to ask us for anything, we want to do our best to make this event a success.’
We got in touch with the facilitators of Startup Iloilo actually and they’ve been nothing short of helpful to us with their experiences and knowledge on what works and what hasn’t been tried yet. Having access to this kind of information in such an open community really cemented to us why we need to have this event in the first place.”
You don’t have to be a developer or designer to join. You can just be a person with an idea. Or even just a person.
The biggest thing that Gem and Gen want people to get out of SW:QC is to know that initiative gets you farther than you think.
Just spending 54 hours of your life at a Startup Weekend could change the course of everything you do from here on out. You might realize “I love/hate startup life.” and the difference can mean everything to your future. Personally, I can’t see myself working at a startup unless I fully believe in the vision and leadership of the boss (like with Ms. Ace Gapuz and Blogapalooza~). So I might just go to SW:QC to clarify whether I love or hate it for real.
Being present at SW:QC means grabbing the existing opportunity of being mentored by some of the best and brightest in the startups community here in the country. You get to mingle with like-minded individuals and experience what it takes to build your own startup just from being present and participative.
Yes, it would be 10 times better if you were a dev or a designer who could contribute your technical skills to the group. If anything, people would fight to the death for the chance that you’ll join their team. But being a thinking human being also has its perks.
“Startup Weekend is all about learning the lean way to startup building. You’re actually doing things and not getting caught up in the analysis paralysis problem a lot of us face. There is no time to sit down and think “oh how am I going to do this? Should I do option A, B, C, Z?”
Time is of the essence, so you end up going “what can I do right now to solve this” “what are my options and how much time will it take to do that” “can we go through option A to Z or should we jump to option M right now” It’s really fast paced stuff.
The best part is you really feel more confident afterwards because you made something and got rapid feedback on it. You get to see yourself in action with a team, whether you came with technical skills, an idea, or you just decided to come and see. To see something you worked on be refined into a better version of itself is such a great feeling.”
Your 1350 pesos actually goes a really long way.
The price may look a little steep right now, but it’s actually pretty sulit when you think about it in the most business management-y possible way.
First off, there’s the incentive outlined already in number 3 aka amazing networking opportunity by being a living being at the event.
Secondly, not only do you get to overnight in the coolest, most beautiful, and most non-haunted college campus around (all my opinions only), but the fee covers your food and a startup essentials kit that’ll help you navigate the most intense 54 hours of iteration you’re ever going to live through. That kit alone can help you again and again even when the weekend is over.
Third, the sponsors are giving away a ton of amazing prizes and incentives, even for those who don’t win. They range from x hours at a coworking space (a very Instagram-able coworking space, I might add) to the use of GlobeLabs’ API’s to a merchant account with DragonPay. If these words mean nothing to you right now, don’t worry, I had to Google them too.
Speaking of which, Google is the worldwide sponsor of the Startup Weekend global movement so for sure the cool freebies and experiences from Google alone are worth it. If you do amazingly well, Google might even notice you.
Last, there might be potential investors at the event. I am sworn to semi-secrecy on who will be looking at your ideas and business models to see if they’re viable for them to invest in. But people in the Philippines’ startup scene in general are actively looking to see if they can put money behind your work. Your job is to just do your best and maybe an angel will do the rest. Maybe.
The Php1350 you spend for SW:QC is so worth it the more you compute into monetary and temporal terms the opportunities and experience you’d get in return this Sept 16-18. It’s an exponential investment in both yourself, your network, and your future. That’s not a bad way to spend your Php1350.
You don’t actually have to stay overnight the whole time…
… but you are highly recommended to. But I get it, and so do Gem and Gen. All the sheltered college kids who need to go home before midnight but will come back as soon as they can, feel free to do so.
It’s just, conversations get a lot more personal, ideas get crazier, and friendships become a lot deeper after 1am. Just throwing it out there. It’s really hard to convince parents on the merits of letting you sleepover in the best (my opinion only) university out there after all.
Also, every minute matters since you never know what loopy 3am idea you guys will have that’ll lead your breakthrough winning idea. Which in turn will net you Php50M in funding that will fund your big IPO and you becoming the next Elon Musk. Or not. Who knows. Again, just throwing that out there.
If any of you reading this go to Startup Weekend QC and happen to get funded, please do not forget where you read about SW:QC in the first place.
Kidding aside, because we here at The Border Collective want to promote young people doing more with their lives, we partnered up with SW:QC for a giveaway of 1 ticket. Just 1 because we want you to step out of your comfort zone + make new friends at the event itself.
All you gotta do to win the free ticket is
Like The Border Collective and Startup Weekend:QC page.
Share this article with the caption #TBCxSWQC. (If you say that hashtag out loud, it sounds so cool and futuristic. Wala lang, just sharing.)
That’s literally it.
If you feel like you want an extra chance at winning, tag a friend in the comments section, hope they win, and if they do, ask them for the ticket. Or irritate the hell out of me on social media like on Instagram or Twitter (because it’s easy to ignore people on Facebook) so that I’d give you the ticket in exchange for you swearing to never bug me again.
For more official aka professional sounding information on Startup Weekend QC, read up on their FAQ’s here. And if you finally feel like “yes, I want to know if the startup life is for me”, head on over to SW:QC’s Eventbrite right now and purchase your ticket to a hella cool weekend.
If you don’t want to pay for SW:QC through Paypal because online payment is the work of the devil, hackers are going to target you, you don’t have a credit card, or whatever, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I shall introduce you to Kim Bairan so that you can pay on the spot instead on July 16.
Disclaimer: I get nothing from this article but the knowledge that I am helping out Gem and Gen and of course, my beloved Kim Bairan. I asked for money and everyone said no. 🙁
Last reminder from someone whose goal in life is to make an obscene amount of money so that I can walk into any store and buy whatever I like without looking at the price tag.
You gotta spend money to make even more money.
And that’s it from both me and the SW:QC team!
If you are an aspiring videographer and want to help us with the Internship FAQ’s, please do hit us up because I have a lot of plans and I need more help in taking over the world – I mean helping the world hehe.
If you have anything you want to ask, say, or comment about to either Betina or me, email us at either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org! For partnerships and business deals, you can email email@example.com!
And if you want to get a faster reply, message us on The Border Collective’s Facebook page!
If you have any questions to ask us anonymously or anything you want us to write about, drop it into our ask.fm and Google Form! We’re always happy to help, though we may be slow in replying because we’re juggling school and internship this semester. 🙂
Thanks for reading and hope I wrote something useful for you!