Spent some quality time amidst entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs @ the NJ StartUp Weekend. What an invigorating experience! Over 100 new business ideas were pitched.. 13 got shortlisted for final presentation. The interesting part was all attendees who did not make the final 13, joined the finalists ( 13 teams) and worked non-stop over the weekend refining the idea and making it real.
The intensity was to be seen to be believed. The passion and energy..incredible.
Four (personal) observations re Final 13 presentations (purely from an entrepreneur's perspective):
- I believe a key reason for ideas coming to life was the "focus and intensity". It was amazing to witness how just these two key attributes could breathe life into "just an idea".
- Social + Personalizaton + Smart use of big data seemed to be the "theme of the day". At least 7 out of 13 finalists were all about these 3 elements (including the winners).
- A common struggle for 9/13 finalists: One line definition of the product and what it does for you. After having been an entrepreneur for 10 years now and having interacted with literally hundreds of entrepreneurs one lesson that I have learnt is -- if a business (or idea) can't be explained in one line (less than 20 words), the idea in all probability is not good enough.
- One common area of weakness (for all finalists) was - inability to satisfactorily answer a simple question - HOW WILL YOU ACQUIRE NEW CUSTOMERS FOR YOUR BUSINESS.
It was an intense weekend full of energy, buzz and activity. Though, I spent just a few hours, I came out with a strong belief - EVERYONE SHOULD ATTEND AT LEAST ONE STARTUP WEEKEND. It can, quite literally, have a transformative impact on you.
Hat Tip to Start Up Weekend NJ!
- Udayan Bose