I Had a Great Idea and an Awesome Pitch, but Nobody Saw the Genius

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Friday night of Startup Weekend is pitch night, and it’s one of the most exciting parts of the event. People will pitch ideas: good, bad, and ugly. Some will be very practical while others will be hip. But which is the greatest idea of them all that will win the competition, get funded, and exit for seven – wait – eight figures? Your’s!  The bad news: while you still have a shot at hitting the home run, you may find that by the end of pitch night you’re idea wasn’t picked. What now?

Our advice is lick your wounds and move on. Worry about your pride some other weekend. Granted, there have been some great companies that have come out of Startup Weekend in tact, but there have been as many great teams that have come out of Startup Weekend that decided to work on something completely different than what they did that weekend. That just scratches the surface of the value that Startup Weekend provides. Really, it’s all about execution, learning how to work together and separately; meeting great people and touching on a number of the different aspects of startup entrepreneurship.

Easy enough for me to say (OK, so your crowdsourced, semantic web, scalable Google meets Facebook with a twist of Amazon was going to take the world by storm!), but this is my third Startup Weekend. I will tell you that, aside from a handful of  great teams, many who participate in Startup Weekend have moved on after the event ended. But all of the participants at Startup Weekend have met a great developer that they’ve clicked with, or a designer that they started hiring for freelance work, or a mentor that might steer them in the right direction. That’s how we define success. At Startup Weekend, you’ll learn a lot from the event process itself;  but more importantly you’ll gain valuable connections and friendships. You might learn something too!

Ben Donahower
Organizer, Harrisburg Startup Weekend