Guest Post by Josh Bailey, Portland Startup Weekend Organizer for April 2014.
Friday Night. Bring a smile.
Hi, I am Beaker Buddy Travis. Not Travis Cannon who is a technical wizard, but Travis the Beaker Buddy who will walk you through what to expect on Friday night of Portland Startup Weekend.
Doors open at 5PM to Puppet Labs, it is a great venue located in the Pearl. There is street parking available, a street car rumbles nearby, and free parking is about a half a mile northwest. When you enter the building I hope you see someone you recognize, but if not come and find me. I will be in an organizer shirt and can help you with any questions you might have and introduce you around.
PIZZA has been served! There will be plenty of drinks and lots of delicious pizzas for dinner. Take this time to say hello to a few other attendees and if you are pitching, which I hope you are, begin to set your mind on delivering a well-rehearsed minute of awesome. Judging doesn’t begin until Sunday night, so if you are nervous, that is expected, but this room only wants you to be great. Your success is our success.
Friday night presenter will take the floor and please listen. The space is huge, and even subtle noises carry. Don’t be upset if an organizer reminds you to please be quiet at this time. Enjoy the presentation and relax, you will be pitching soon enough.
CLAP!!! Now it is your turn. Find a place in line, listen to other pitches, take note of what they are saying and how it is being received by the fellow attendees. The more natural and calm you are the better reception from the audience. Take notes! Friday night pitches can be in upwards of 50-70 one-minute tornados.
It is now time to vote, take time to meet the folks who pitched and ask about their ideas. Decide which ideas you like and cast your stickers. The top teams will then pitch again, and this is the time to choose which team you would like to work with for the weekend.
The evening is quickly getting late, and the teams have now been formed. In the matter of a few hours, you have gone from a hungry individual to a fluid, brainstorming, and highly functioning team. Use the last couple hours and build a strategy for how Saturday morning will go and what are the next steps in the build.
Congratulations. You just completed Friday night. I can’t wait to see you again tomorrow morning!