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What I Learned from StartUp Weekend Mobile

When I got started and how I plan to keep going!

Every Friday at 5 p.m. you can hear the same sigh of relief around the country. This Friday past, things were a little bit different for me. I got an opportunity to experience what I thought would be just a fun workshop, but what actually turned out to be an amazing entrepreneurship experience.

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event that brings together designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and experts from all domains to do amazing things. This event takes place all over the world and I was lucky enough to be involved in the Mobile, Ala. experience. For the final presentations there were only three winners, but the judges wanted to equip all teams will some noteable concepts for pitching.

Three Things to Remember

When Pitching

Make sure that you are challenging your assumptions.

Force yourself to see your ideas from other perspectives. By challenging your assumptions you allow others to give insight on what they may be experts at. You may know everything about graphic design but you might need some help building a business model. While considering a new idea from another perspective you allow yourself to be more relatable to others. The easiest way to challenge your assumptions is to become a critical thinker. By analyzing or evaluating the information that has been gathered through experience and reflection, you will be able to build a better brand and marketing plan.

Understand your competitor and your market.

The worst thing to probably say is that you have no competitors. When authorizing a Competitor analysis, check out your competitor's strengths and weaknesses from a marketing and strategic management perspective. Acknowledge what your competitors have to offer and explain how you will differentiate your brand.

Make sure you convey everything in your pitch.

You have a limited amount of time to pitch. Make sure your pitch is clear and concise. After your first pitch, embrace the criticism and feedback. Use this feedback to conceptualize all of your ideas. This is important because you only have a select amount of time to make the judges fall in love with your ideas. This means you must convey all of your ideas with passion while being extremely informative.

Most importantly, have fun.

This experience had so many great takeaways. I was able to network with new people and some of those people were not from Mobile. Startup Weekend Mobile also did not have any age requirements. This allowed me to connect with professionals who were over 50 and under 18. It was a great learning experience that I plan to incorporate into future endeavors. This weekend journey ignited a new entrepreneurial spirit that I will continue to build upon.

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