Portland Startup Weekend can be an intense and inspiring experience. The event typically brings together hundreds of highly motivated, energetic people who are striving to create, build, or do something new, and the results can be innovative and exciting. Whether participants are looking for a fun, one-of-a-kind weekend or a launching pad for their next business, PDXSW provides participants the opportunity to experiment with ideas and entrepreneurship.
Judging from past events, the results of PDXSW can be impressive. Some teams develop incredible ideas that could become the next big thing, a disruptive innovation that changes an industry, or a timely update to an established way of doing things. Some teams are able to execute their idea exceptionally well considering the limited timeframe they have in which to work. And other teams take what they learn from the weekend and make a go of their business to see if it works in the real world. Success comes in many forms, but successful teams at PDXSW typically have to find a way to identify problems and solutions that other people simply haven’t before, and that demands some effort, thought, and experimentation.
As a mentor, I come to PDXSW to answer questions, support the participants, hear new ideas, and see what teams can accomplish in their weekend. It’s rewarding to provide answers and advice to teams that are eager to learn. I know that many of the other mentors, judges, and organizers feel the same way I do, and it’s really why we’re there. So please, do not hesitate to fully utilize the experience and talent that PDXSW makes available to participants.
If I could offer advice to participants beforehand, it would be this: Come ready to learn. If you listen to others, ask a lot of questions, and try new things, you can walk away from PDXSW with valuable information that will equip you to be a better entrepreneur, business person, or even a better employee for that matter. PDXSW is ultimately what you make of it, so soak up the experience and make it your own.
Good luck and I hope to see you there!