How Startup Weekend Works

See full version at our Startup Weekend blog…

In order to be a company with transcending qualities, your core missions and goals must be well known. If every single employee or team member cannot recite the collective goals, something is missing. I am not implying that every person on your team should recite the manifesto word for word but they should be able to summarize it. Test it out in your office sometime. Randomly ask people what their company does. Who do they do it with? And most importantly, why do they do it? Continue reading

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This Week At Startup Weekend

Things are going well in the Startup Weekend office. This week we joined the national bandwagon of doing the Harlem Shake, duh. You can catch me riding the horse. I mean Dan. Please note all the hidden gems throughout the video. There are a lot. Such as Deb skyping in from London on one of the laptops. Or our main man, Marc wearing a robot hat made out of a box.

startup weekend

And then we celebrated our fabulous organizers on Valentine’s Day!

Week One is Done!

SeattleI’m sure you’re sick of hearing about my “moving to Seattle” adventures but oh well. Why are you still reading?

I have successfully completed my first full week of my new life. It seems as if I have lived here forever yet I still feel fresh from the Midwest. I would like to say a huge, killer THANK YOU to this city. You’ve kicked my ass a few times but so far, I still love you. And the people! Seattle is home to some of the finest people I’ve met. Everyone has been so welcoming and it probably helps that my new co-workers are all the best people in the world. There are few decisions that I believe 100% were the right one. But I can say that accepting a job with Startup Weekend and moving out here is one of my best decisions, ever. It changed my life and I have barely gotten started. Continue reading

A Full Circle Story That Ends in Seattle

SeattleLess than one year ago, I attended my first Startup Weekend in my hometown of Evansville, Indiana. My life was changed immensely and I began to take the steps towards following my passions. If you’ve followed me or know me, you know that a lot has happened between February 2012 and December 2012.

There were a few heart breaks, new jobs, I finished college, met fantastic people, mentored & helped organize another Startup Weekend, spoke at TEDx & I now have a new nephew. In between those anecdotes, there are twenty more that I could speak about. It has been quite the story book romance that ultimately ends in a brand new city. Last Friday night, I accepted a job at Startup Weekend Headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Continue reading

Startup Weekend Bloomington

Some of you may not think of Indiana when you think of innovation or startups. Maybe you just think of basketball and corn? While we do enjoy a nice serving of corn while watching the Hoosiers, we also have quite the hotbed of entrepreneurs. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. This weekend, Indiana hosted two separate Startup Weekends: South Bend & Bloomington. This wasn’t the first time either. Big things are happening from the northern tip of Indiana, through the center of Indianapolis, all the way down to my hometown of Evansville. The spirit of entrepreneurship is not a new one but it is finally being recognized from the other guys. It’s beautiful.

I was honored to be one of the mentors at Startup Weekend Bloomington on the Indiana University campus this weekend. Thanks Matt & Jess! It was strange to return to the campus since my first visit at the age of 16. At the time, I had high hopes of attending the school but ended up applying elsewhere. Also strange to return to a Startup Weekend as a mentor and not an attendee. It was a karate chop to my old life plan and a nice one too! Continue reading

My Day at Startup Weekend HQ

After nearly sneaking through the back door in downtown Seattle, I had entered the building. I walked up the stairs that were filled with funny Startup Weekend-esque posters, photos, & memorabilia. Then, the open loft style office was there. I almost felt like I shouldn’t be there but hell, Claire said I could! They said hello at different times and I felt at home. The space alone was just so cool. So freaking cool.

They welcomed me like an old friend and said I could talk to whomever and basically do whatever I wanted. Did this mean I could move into the office? I didn’t ask. But, I began talking to the Communications Manager, Claire Topalian. She had originally written small piece about my own Startup Weekend experience on their blog. Her and I chatted for a bit then she showed me around the small but efficient office. Lots of green and lots of quirkiness which means it was fantastic. Continue reading

Startup Weekend HQ, Seattle, & TEDx!

Whew! Since the launch of Inkable, my life has shifted into hyper overdrive! I wanted to make sure everyone knows that I am still alive, because I’m afraid some people may be wondering. I’m constantly writing, editing, collecting contributors, and dreaming of Inkable. But, there are a few other exciting occasions that are happening too. Did you see the mid-season finale of Breaking Bad?!  But when I say dreaming of Inkable, I literally dream of that purple layout and the content on the site! Sometimes it would be nice to just dream of a Mexican beach but whatever, I’ll take what dreams I can get. Continue reading

Creating a 2.0 Version of Yourself: Part 1

Do you have one event or period in life that stands out?  A moment where you thought, “things were different after that.”  For me, it was in the form of a breakup.  I know, wah wah wah.  Stick with me.  I went through the severing of ties with someone who was never even a relationship.  It shouldn’t have been hard due to the low levels of commitment involved.  But it was.  I had gone through a much more serious break up months before.  One that should have left me trembling in the corner but it didn’t.

The ending of the more recent short but passionate relationship kept me up at night and urged me to seek out why I was so sad.  It slowly came down to this, I was sick of it.  I was sick of letting the actions of another person send me into a darkness of sorts.  I spent that winter obsessed with what went wrong.  I was a plague to my dear friends and would text them late at night.  I kept using his name in random conversations where it didn’t even belong.  He had willingly moved on and why couldn’t I?

Then one day I realized, “who fucking cares?”  I had become so annoyed with my own voice and my own complaining.  I didn’t even want to be my own friend at that that rate.  So, I started to do things for myself.  I pressed pause on the dating game that had consumed my life for 22 years.  I found focus in things I enjoyed.  This may all sound very much like an Oprah “a-ha moment” and I suppose it was.  Something clicked in my head and things have never quite been the same.

For me, a pivotal point in my life came in the form of a “Business Competition” known as StartUp Weekend.  If you haven’t heard of this phenomenon I encourage you to Google it now.  It really is a fantastic thing.  I went into the weekend hoping to learn a bit about innovative business structures and what not, nothing more and nothing less.  While I did learn a lot of really great educational ideas, I learned more about myself. Continue reading

A Word on Millennials Getting Shit Done…

Some have said that my generation (Generation IDGAF, GenY, or The Millenials) are mindless consumers that run on iPhones.  While some of that logic may be true, I think there is something much greater going on.  Somehow, I think my generation has surprised the world a bit.  Most people who remember the blurry days before the Internet began, were assumed to be slackers by the time we hit our 25th birthdays.  But something happened, we took all the cords, all the apps, and all the ideas and have made them real.

I am seriously proud of what the ladies and gentlemen my age have created.  Sure, some of us may have five small jobs instead of one full time job.  Some work in their pajamas all day yet make more capital than someone clocking in forty hours a week.  Often, we hear the saying, “When one door closes…” I have seen countless examples of Millenials knocking down that damn door before it even closes.  The millenial mantra seems to be “I’ll just do it myself.”  This applies to the workplace more than anything else.  People are no longer waiting around on jobs and running around town with hardcopies of their resumes.  To be frank, we are getting shit done.

I may be sounding very self-aborbed but since I am under thirty, you are probably not surprised.  It is only because I am a keen observer of the shift happening right now.  My generation has become so self-sufficiant that we are not looking for someone to hand us a job.  We’re not looking to be handed anything.  Sure, the job rates are ridiculous but that hasn’t slowed us down.  Often, we are creating jobs for ourselves and for others through innovation ways.  If there is a gap in an industry, we are finding ways to fill it. Continue reading