Do you feel like kick-starting the process behind building a startup? Think no more, TechStars Startup Weekend is back! This time in collaboration with Bahrain FinTech Bay (BFB) and, yours truly StartUp Bahrain, to organize a 54-hour spectacle of a weekend and enough food to last you until after the crash course of startup knowledge is over!
For the 7th edition of Startup Weekend, the organizing team have a plethora of activities ahead, but, before we get into that, we wonder, what keeps the audience so engaged, furthermore, why do people keep coming back year after year?
To answer this question, StartUp Bahrain went out on a quest, and asked former participants including Ahmed Alrawi and Husam Ramadan, as well as organizers of Startup Weekend about the reasons behind their annual return, and here is what we have learned!
- The chance to innovate and create
Coming up with an idea that is “fresh” and “out of the box” isn’t a norm for most, so being provided with the opportunity to go back to the drawing board and create something from scratch, is, in a way, an homage to the childhood of most millennials and baby boomers, as it also relied heavily on imagination and broadening your thinking.
Additionally, to be able to move your ideas from your head, and towards something more tangible can be very rewarding, think of it as role-play but for the business-minded individuals, a type of game that requires a certain mindset which aims to develop a rather interesting skill set, comprising of entrepreneurial technical as well as soft skills. And in the words of Husam Ramadan Co-founder of Fleek, “We all have these little ideas we want to explore yet we either have no time during our work day or possibly don’t have the necessary skills or people to join us.”
- Networking and team building
What’s a surefire way to maintain and grow the success of a business over time you ask? Getting to know the right people! And where better to get to know them, than in an environment that hosts and inhabits such passionate and career driven individuals?
During Startup Weekend, learning comes first, however, getting to know the participants around you, the members of the StartUp Bahrain ecosystem,the organizing team and the mentors available are a resource of knowledge that needs to be utilized. Similarly, the activities that are based on operating as a team, helps build skills such as communication, teamwork, and fosters creativity.
According to members from the community such as Husam who is a serial repeater of Startup Weekend, “Startup Weekend helps bring people together and gives everybody 54 hours to build something great in front of judges. It’s also a great way to make new friends.” And who doesn’t love making new friends!
- The startup crash course
How much can you possibly learn in 54 hours? More than what your brain might be able to handle, so bring your notepads and laptops to dot things down, there’s no shame in not being able to pick up all of the information, terminology and digesting the startup ecosystem in general. The workshops, discussions and activities are designed to teach you, but only if you’re serious about learning.
- The energy during the event
In the words of Ahmed Alrawi, Co-Founder and CEO of Malaeb “I think people keep coming back to Startup weekend because it feels just great doing one. It’s why people keep doing marathons after their first one. The sense of accomplishment at the end puts you at a high, and gives you tremendous energy that you can channel at your everyday life after the event. Startup Weekend to your brain is what a Marathon is to your body.”
- And lastly, and in some cases, most importantly, the food!
We would love to use the cliche, “the main reason Bahrainis’ go to events is for the food”, but, hear us out, it’s primal human instinct to be in the pursuit of something to eat, and the luxury of having options to choose from throughout an entire weekend while in the company of others? Sounds very Bahraini to us.
We don’t know about you, but when it comes to us, there’s no better way to spend a weekend then growing our knowledge and network. Skip the cinema and the restaurant’s this time, and when your friends ask you what your busy with this weekend, you can say you’re busy building a startup.
Are you up for the challenge? Share your experience, thoughts, and insight into this topic with us! And, if you have something you want to share with the StartUp Bahrain Community? Then feel free to contribute by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and have your voice be heard!