swHH13: 7 meals, a sunny balcony and a lot of fun!

But why can’t we stop doing it?

It’s all about people!! A simple FiFo calculation. The first thing you throw into it are passionate people, the first thing you gain out of it are fascinating people! This is why Startup Weekend Hamburg is more, more than a simple event. It is a community. 54 shared hours which make you feel like one family. An unique group of thinkers, makers and changers. Each person an individual and still, in the end only one common goal. To create something. Whether new, improved or simply the best solution to your own problem. No matter what it is and who you are.

This time we had sun seekers, fashion lovers, foodies, passionate learners, evil gamers, musicians and time users. An awesome mixture!!

However, on friday night, everything was different. The organizer team was diverse from the last two years, the location and catering was new and a lot of participants did not really know what was coming next. An atmosphere of fear, uncertainty and excitement was in the air. But then Liam Boogar came on the stage. His dry, ironic californian humour made the participants wonder even more. Did they heared right? It was all on them? No input, no business canvas, no strategy to earn fast and scalable money? Some looked puzzled. Marco from getyum.me cleared the situation. Our first speaker broke the ice and talked about his personal Startup Weekend Lüneburg story. Half a year ago, he decided to build up a new food delivery app where one searches for meals, not restaurants. He and his team succeeded and convinced already the first paying customers. This speech made the first people look brave and active. Time to go on the stage! 33 pitches, 1,5 hours. Wonderful, shocking or lovely ideas. Who would not want to be part of one of those great upcoming ideas? However, everyone had to choose. Only three post-it-votes per person. Half an hour later, we came up with 13 established teams. People euphorically ready to start. But, like in real life, the startups had to arrange with the given situation first. Protonet’s bureau is big, still 13 rooms are not available. Hence, some shared rooms, same went on the balcony to start to work open-air and some restructured the assembly room and made up new offices. All in all, a totally organic start. Later in the night, we had to throw out the last participants to enable a smooth start into the second day.

During Saturday, everything was going to change. Teams, ideas and business models. 14 mentors came to support the groups. However, they provided not only feedback, but also talked about their life experiences and the companies they work in. People from IBM, google, XING, Jimbo, hanseventure, e.venture and some independent designers spend their time with us. Thanks for all that passion and curiosity!! We had a barbecue in the last sun of the day and enjoyed football on a big screen. Seamed as if we could always stay here, but of course day three came nearer and with it, the pressure to shape ideas and business models. While doing so, each team learned the pros and cons of working together. They found their unique approach to either split work or to grow together as an “one man decision-maker group” or they even reformed teams. Why? Because team work is most important!! If you want to build only your solution, you are not able to adopt others opinions. If you are on the other hand to unsure about the problem itself you cannot convince others or even lose your passion for it. And finally, if you do not know for whom you are solving the problem, you do not know the market, the need and the people who should benefit later from your service.

Therefore, “People, process and passion have to go hand in hand together”, as Fridtjof Detzner (founder of Jimdo) put it on Sunday afternoon. Teams were pitching and checking their presentations already all day long and now the big moment arrived to present in front of the jury! 13 teams, each 3 minutes time, afterwards questions and applause. Like always, the jury had to fight to come to a solution. But then they decided to come up with an extra price to solve their dilemma. There was one team, out of competition, but also out of category. Hence, the jury decided they are the winner of the price “No price needed!”. This went to the team “Jagdschloss”. They will redesign customer-present boxes and focus on the Swiss market, where some of them already work in. The other three categories went to “Bizcademy” for best pitch, to “fruug” for best design and to “Wait watchers” for overall being awesome!

Thus, again three days full of ups and downs, full of action, process and shared passion and yet another reason why to keep on organising Startup Weekend Hamburg – everyone is welcome to join us next year!

Thanks to all attendees for enableing this weekend, thanks Protonet for the amazing location, thanks Makerhub for the delicious food and thanks to all sponsors, mentors, judges and jury members!! Was great with all of you!!

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