Announcing the 2014 Startup Weekend – Kuwait!

Startup Weekend is back in town! For those of you who want to experience working on a startup and building a cool web or mobile app, this is your chance. Startup Weekend is coming to Kuwait February 6-8. Participants will share ideas, build teams, develop products and present them to our judging panel for a chance to win cash prizes.
Here’s you need to know about the event:

Is this event for me?
Startup Weekend attendees can have technical or non-technical backgrounds. Technical and non-technicals form teams, so as long as you’re ready to work in a team, you’re set!

What kind of background do I need?
While it is your objective to build a web/mobile app over the weekend, you do NOT need a technical background to attend. You can form a team with someone who does. Similarly, you do NOT need to have an idea to attend. You can form a team with someone who does.

How do I register? How much does it cost?
The event is open to everyone. Registration is free, and can be done on http://swkuwait.eventbrite.com/ Capacity is limited so we encourage everyone to register if they are attending.

What should I bring?
We encourage you to bring the following:

Laptop
Power cord
Internet connection (just in case)
Lots of creative energy and a killer work ethic.

What happens on Thursday, Friday and Saturday?
Roughly, the schedule is as follows

Thursday:
Participants arrive between 5-7 PM, begin networking.
After a short introduction by the Facilitator, there will typically be 1 short speech on practical topics ranging from Pitching Best Practices to Lean Startup Methodology and more.
Then the “Pitchfire” will commence: anyone intending to pitch will have 60 seconds to give their best pitch.
No presentations or props needed for Thursday. It will just be you and a mic.
After pitches are finished, all attendees will organically form teams of two to four persons for each idea. Teams will form organically, consolidate, and begin working while enjoying a light dinner on Thursday night.

Friday:
Teams will work all day, with the occasional breaks to eat.
Mentors will be circulating to provide concrete advice in the field of their expertise for those teams that want it.

Saturday:
Teams will work uninterrupted from morning until mid-afternoon.
They’ll begin wrapping up their product/prototype and/or presentation around 3-4 PM to do tech-checks and practice their demonstration.
After all Judges have arrived presentations will begin: each team typically has 5 minutes plus 2-3 minutes Q&A from the jury (this will vary depending on how many teams are presenting).
The jury will select the top teams, give out prizes (we hope!), and the event ends (and celebration begins!).

What types of ideas can I pitch?
Any business ideas are eligible (whether for-profit, ‘social’ businesses, non-profit organizations, etc.), however the event is strongly tech-oriented. Approximately 95% of all ideas are mobile or web focused.

What about non-technical ideas?
We strongly recommend that non-tech ideas focus on a tech-related deliverable (i.e., website).

Can I pitch my existing business? Can I work on an idea I’ve worked on before?
No. Startup Weekend is designed to be the most effective platform for growing new businesses from the ground up over the course of a weekend. Working on an existing idea undermined the spirit in which Startup Weekend was intended.

How do I protect against people stealing my idea?
The short answer is that you can’t. If you’re very concerned, you can limit your pitch to the rough outline of the idea without giving away key information.The longer answer is that this is not something worth worrying about. Unless you are confident your idea is a ‘key-in-hand’, easy-to-implement innovation that hasn’t yet been thought of (which it almost surely isn’t), the advantages gained from getting broad-based feedback and a strong team motivated by collective ownership far outweigh the remote risks of someone stealing and executing on your idea.

What resources/assistance is provided over the weekend?
A key part of every Startup Weekend is the valuable advice and assistance provided by the event’s Speakers and Mentors. Mentors – community experts in various fields ranging from entrepreneurship, software development, marketing, etc. – dedicate their time to providing advice and actually rolling up their sleeves and working with teams. In addition to the most valuable resources at the weekend (the people), we’ve also put together a list of some of the most useful resources in all startup-related fields, for both before, during, and after the weekend. Check out startupweekend.org/resources for more info.

Where can I find more information?
Check out http://kuwait.startupweekend.org/ Everyone should read the Startup Weekend FAQ page for a more complete set of common Questions and Answers. If you have a question that isn’t answered, please ask one of the organizers or tweet us on @swkuwait.

OpenCoffee Club Meetup: January 20th, 2014.

Just a friendly reminder of our weekly meetup tomorrow at 7:30 pm at Caribou Salhya. This week Steve Adelman is joining us. Steve is a veteran of Silicon Valley; he’s an Angel investor, and has consulted to or advised many start ups. He also teaches entrepreneurship, working with Steve Blank at Stanford and Berkeley, and is Director of Entrepreneurial Programs at Cogswell College of Silicon Valley.

Here are the details for the next Coffee meetup:

  • Topic: Feedback on YOUR startups + discussion on the Silicon Valley ecosystem 
  • When/where: Monday January 20 at 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM @ Caribou Salhya
  • Who should attend: Anyone who wants to learn about entrepreneurs, startup enthusiasts, developers, programmers
  • Organizer: Mona Al Mukhaizeem is handling the organization and logistics. You can contact her here

Let us know if you have any questions. 

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