This last weekend, I got the opportunity of attending the very 1st edition of Startup Weekend University in India that was held at BITS Pilani, Hyderabad. If you don’t know what is a Startup Weekend, read this post to get a better idea.
Honestly, when I heard about this concept, I was a bit skeptic to begin with. The thought of an “entrepreneurial idea” being turned into a full-fledged startup in just 54 hours and that too, collaborating with people you don’t know is farfetched. But you know what, they were right – about the startup, and about the experience.
The event was attended by a gamut of people with skill sets ranging from Developers, Designers, to the Non-Technical ones. With students coming from A-list colleges like BITS, IIIT, IIT and ISB, the quality of startups was obviously expected to be unique and efficient. And they surely dint disappoint anyone. The event witnessed the highest number of real demonstrations at any Startup Weekend in India.
The event started on Friday night with introductions and finally pitches from the participants. As each person went pitching up on the stage, I could gauge the excitement about their idea and anxiety of being selected for the next round. In all, I heard 54 ideas of which the top 15 concepts were shortlisted after online voting by the participants. The energy in the room was buzzing – and people were excitedly talking about which team they might want to join. The ‘Team Heads’ (People with the ideas with the highest votes) went hunting for designers, technical experts and other talent in the room to round out their teams – it felt a little like a matrimonial convention. Participants wanted to be on the team which could showcase their talents and the team leaders wanted the best people in the room.
After an hour long process of head-hunting, the teams congealed and proceeded to the accommodation provided at BITS Pilani – Hyderabad.