My Houston Startup Weekend Experience


This summer I participated in my first Startup Weekend Houston event and it was
quite an amazing experience. Starting on a Friday evening I met dozens of like-
minded individuals that are passionate about entrepreneurship and ready to spend
the weekend building something really great. Everybody that had an idea was able
to give their pitch to the group.

Once the pitches were complete everybody was able to vote for the ideas that they
wanted to spend the weekend working on. I made a beeline towards one particular
pair of developers that were holding the new, yet to be released, Google Nexus Q
device. I was extremely interested in their idea to enable the device to stream all
types of content from the web to the TV.

Our team gathered quite a following with a total of eight members. Half of our
team was developers so we were determined to produce a proto-type for the final
presentation. The other half of the team was made up of business people and a
social media specialist. After brainstorming the idea all night long we called it a
night so we could start early the following morning.

My team started early Saturday morning. We spent the day developing a prototype
and put together a lean startup canvas. Throughout the day we received a ton of
support from local entrepreneurs and mentors. Their support and guidance really
made the difference. We learned so much from every mentor that worked with us
over the weekend.

We were able to create a rough prototype by that evening. We then spent the
remaining time putting together our business model and doing some customer
validation. Also we purchased a domain and launched an introductory website
about our startup.

At the end of the final day we gave our pitch and showed everyone our demo.
Although the judges did not select my team, I learned a ton over the weekend
about what it takes to launch a startup. Being able to network with so many like-
minded individuals and to learn by doing was the highlight of my weekend. I highly
recommend anyone interested in startups to come out and participate in the next
Startup Weekend Houston event.

Robert Dale Smith (RDS),