Last week we posted about the entrepreneurial aspirations of the Brazilian students and how it reflects the momentum of the local economy. Despite all those wishes, the entrepreneurs-to-be need a way to start up a real business out of their ideas and it is not so easy for the first time entrepreneurs. Besides all startup competitions that happened in the last year, the Startup Weekend framework became part of the local scene creating mobile and web based startups. The next stop is Brasilia, on February 3-5, 2012.
For those not aware about how it works, here is an overview: it is a weekend-long, hands-on experience where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if their startup ideas are viable. This next edition starts on February 3 with a Business Model Generation/Lean Startup presentation and with Alex Tabor, co-founder of Peixe Urbano, sharing his experience. After the opening session, the attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday the teams will focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing Lean Startup Methodologies and building a Minimal Viable Product (MVP). On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedbacks from a panel of experts. During this process, experienced mentors will support the teams.
The event started in Seattle in 2009. According to the StartupWeekend.org website, about 500 events took place worldwide, creating over 5,000 startups and engaging about 45,000 entrepreneurs so far. During the same weekend EUA (NYC), Canada (Calgary and Montreal), and Netherlands (Enschede) will have their own Startup Weekends.
In Brazil, the first edition occurred in São Paulo in November 2010. The second edition took place in Campinas in May 2011 and was followed by Rio de Janeiro, Recife and another edition in São Paulo.
You can always expect positive results after a Startup Weekend. Just to mention a few, some of the companies started at Startup Weekend Campinas have evolved and are currently in the market improving their products and talking with investors: Fonista (initially “I’m hungry”/”Paladar” and featured here), Nossos peludos (helping you help abandoned pets) and VideoVivo, an “eBay for virtual services” being developed now in Silicon Valley. Most of the other attendees are currently involved in other projects and have been attending other Startup Weekend editions and startup programs, events and competitions.
The Brasilia edition is being organized by Microsoft Innovation Center and IPe Engenharia de Redes and supported by Microsoft BizPark and SENAI.
The event is already sold out. We can just expect good results from there!
[Disclosed: I co-organized the Startup Weekend Campinas and will be one of the Brasilia’s edition mentors.]