Sharing a Startup Weekend Experience by Nicole Macarasig

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Note: This blog post was lifted from Nicole Macarasig’s blog post where she recounts her experience at Startup Weekend Manila.

I attended last Startup Weekend Manila on April 27-29. Unexpectedly, our team won first place. Why unexpectedly? Because the other ideas are great as well and I thought the other teams are most likely to win first place.

So ours was Kiddle. Basically, it’s a gamified web app that lets kids earn points and upgrade their avatars by completing tasks like household chores and homework.

(Credit to SGentrepreneurs.com for the great definition of what Kiddle really is. :))

What I like about Startup Weekend? I can mention 4 undeniable facts.

1. I got to meet new friends

I’ve met great people in different fields and expertise. The most unforgettable are my teammates.  We are six in our team. Because of Startup Weekend, I don’t just have new contacts, I can also call them my friends.

The people that you work with is a big factor on making your product and idea better and a success. Kiddle is Kiddle because of the people behind it. We’ve made it to the last day of the workshop because of the support, expertise, and the drive of each team member.

2. The things that I learned (from the mentors and from the experience itself)

We have this favorite mentor. His name is Guyi Shen. All the other mentors gave us great input as well but Guyi really stood out because he really shook our idea to the core.. TWICE! Haha! But in a subtle and nice way. We changed some important factors an hour before we have to submit our final presentation because he came to our table and asked us to present our pitch to him and he gave us feedback that made us to think fast and do some changes.

He really shook our idea but it came out refined.

Basically, what we learned from him is that to focus on one problem first.. what pain point are we really solving. Because before our encounter with him our idea grew so big that we were not sure what problem we were really solving or if what we were trying to solve was a problem in the first place.

So because of those encounters, Kiddle is what it is right now. I think we would not have have made Kiddle better and we would not have won if not for those feedback and questions.

3. Failing fast

Yup, it’s a good thing. This is the one that I appreciate with Startup Weekend the most. What I learned with SpellDial (a startup that I co-founded) in the last 2 years, you’ll learn it in 54 hours. How I wish we have mentors to come to our office everyday and give feedback in every step we take so that every step we take is a step higher.

The view from the people outside is different from the inside. They see a different picture.

4. Creating something in a weekend

This is the exciting part. Pitch or vote for an idea, create or join a team, make the idea into a reality in 54 hours! Really! In 54 hours! That’s exciting!

I’ve met people there who joined the first Startup Weekend Manila last year and then they joined the second one this year which is the one that I joined. I don’t question them, IT’S ADDICTING!

Now, I’m excited for the first ever Startup Weekend Cebu on Friday!

Experience Startup Weekend yourself!

The Kiddle Team

Special thanks to Ms. Tins Amper for sponsoring our trip and Mr. Christian Besler for sponsoring our registration :)