A preparatory workshop for Startup Weekend Cebu (SWC) was held on April 21, 2012, at the Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U), N. Bacalso Avenue, Cebu City. Thirty-five participants gathered at the Case Room located at the first level of the Science & Technology building in preparation for the upcoming SWC event on May 11 to May 13, 2012.
The workshop, which started at 1 p.m. and ended at 5 p.m., gave the participants a glimpse of the actual startup event. The organizers believe that since it is Cebu's first Startup Weekend, attendees need to know what to expect so they will have the best experience. One of the objectives of this free preparatory workshop was to encourage those who were having second thoughts to register to the event.
The following topics were discussed during the workshop:
- What is a startup?
- What is a business?
- Will I have my own “negosyo?”
- Will I need tech/computer background to form my own startup company?
- Intellectual property (IP)
- What is a “pitch”?
- Picking a team
- How to work with a team
- How to validate your idea, market research, customer development
- How to work with and ask help from mentors
- Tips for final presentation on Sunday night
- What happens after SWC?
Attendees also had a chance to meet other SWC participants and possible team members. Each one was given a minute to describe themselves and share why they are excited about the SWC. They also got to experience mock pitches so they will get used to the one-minute pitching format during the actual event. They formed mock teams and did mock presentations in front of the audience who acted as judges. The advantage of this workshop is that prior to the SWC, the attendees already have an idea which startup ideas are effective and which are not. This strengthens their chances of being awarded the Startup Weekend Cebu Winner during the culmination on May 13, 2012.
Everyone who attended the pre-event workshop had positive things to say. According to Ruben B. Licera, Jr., a certified Internet marketing expert, SEO mentor and social media management consultant, the preparatory workshop was “a good start for budding technopreneurs.” “All hail to the organizers for making it possible,” the Cebuano mentor added.
Jeremy Green thought that the workshop “was a great precursor for the startup weekend.” He also found it fun and useful. Green is the organizer of the CebuMakers, a group interested in electronics, mechanics, microcontrollers, open source hardware, embedded software, computing, science, and digital art.
Here are some of the tweets posted during the Pre-Startup Weekend:
John Alindogan: “I just came from a room filled with 50 of the best skilled cebuanos. Truly an entrepreneur’s dream #swcebu”
Zip Cerio: “Epic product: StrongGameDog #swcebu I lol'd on this”
Nicole Macarasig: “We have some cool and crazy startup ideas here in pre- #swcebu workshop! X-D”
Albert Padin: "Practice pitching at #swcebu prep workshop. Random dot com's being pitched. This is fun!"
SWC will be held at the University of the Philippines Cebu College. This 54-hour event gives designers, marketers, developers, product managers, and startup enthusiasts a great opportunity to come together, exchange ideas, build products, and launch startups. The SWC community is mainly made up of current and soon-to-be entrepreneurs who are enthusiastic to share new ideas for possible businesses.
Joining SWC will be very beneficial to those who want to meet relevant people in the field and build long-lasting relationships with them. Instead of just sitting and listening to lectures, attendees get to learn by creating. They will be asked to come up with their own strategies and immediately test them. On the first day, there will be open-mic business pitches, where attendees present their business ideas. Teams will be formed and a skills inventory will be conducted.
The succeeding days will be spent working on customer development, validating business ideas, applying the LEAN Startup Methodologies, and launching a minimal feasible product. The teams will present their prototypes in front of a panel of experts, which will be a team of Venture Capitalists (VCs) from Silicon Valley, who will choose the Startup Weekend Cebu Winner.
For a registration fee of only Php1,000, which already covers workshop materials and seven meals, you get to spend a weekend establishing scalable companies that solve real world problems. Who knows? You may just receive various job offers or investment opportunities.
Don’t miss the chance to attend what the organizers call a “co-founder dating” event, where you may find someone you can basically launch a startup business with. To register, visit cebu.startupweekend.org. You will also find various helpful resources on the site.
A) Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U), N. Bacalso Avenue, Cebu City
B) University of the Philippines Cebu, Gorordo Avenue, Lahug, Cebu City