Startup Weekend Hsinchu : 6 Important Things & Startup Labs

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Now I’m in Incheon Airport in South Korea (going to LA), it is so good here. Free Internet everywhere, comfy seats for free, the only thing is they don’t have mail box or post office in the departure area. (wanted to send a postcard to myself or my friends, which I love to do. London Heathrow airport has a few mail boxes which is really convenient.)

So it’s a good timing for me to write about Startup Weekend Hsinchu otherwise I’ll never write it. This the the second time for me, but this time I went there as a mentor. Fresh experience.

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The last time I participated Startup Weekend was in London in September this year, I noted down 6 point after that (here: “Startup Weekend London 生存六法則“, in Chinese):

1. Learn the “Startup Phrases” beforehand. What’s MVP, Business Model, Competitors? If you’re interested in Startup I’m sure you knew already.

2. Idea you pitch must be dead simple. You need to make people understand easily. Simplicity is much more important than integrity.

3. Pick a team with a charming leader. Leader is always important. Choose a good one or be a good one.

4. Bring your design resource. Design skill is kind of critical at Startup Weekend, even if you’re not a professional designer, don’t forget to bring your photo-stock or any design resource you got.

5. Go on Twitter. It works in Startup Weekend London, but this time in Hsinchu, I think most of the people who uses Twitter are foreigners.

6. Final presentation: slow pace and creativity rules.

Yeah basically these 6 things are what I learnt from the Startup Weekend London. I thought the atmosphere must be different in Taiwan as we are totally different countries. But, this time in Hsinchu, I feel the same passion.

And I saw things from different aspect.

Because all the mentors have to go to all the tables to listen to the team’s ideas and goals, sometimes I can feel their confidence, sometimes uncertainties.

When a team has a specific goal and a clear main core value, they can easily decide what’s the best for them when they face a decision. But when a team is not really sure what they want and don’t want (especially “don’t want”), they just want everything. And this often leads the team to a disastrous chaos – sometimes want this, sometimes want that.

So for all the team, I only see HitCaptcha has a really clear purpose (see demo here). and yes they are the winner! Ha! (see “And the Winners are…“) I would definitely want to use their product on my website.

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But a tool is relatively easier to focus on the goal. For other social site, there’s always too many possibilities, which confuses the team all the time. But don’t worry, having unlimited possibilities is still good, just you’ll have to start simple, and make an MVP first (This is really important).

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Although in London and in Taiwan should be different, but what always amaze me is, the startup circle is actually not that much different. People are all passionate, kind, hacker-like, easy going with diversities. Always feel good to talk to startup geeks (hehe).

This is Take My Route team, who won the second prize. (They use Drupal!) See, simple and easy to understand.

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Startup Labs

At Startup Weekend Hsinchu, the co-founder of Startup Weekend Cling Nelsen announced a great plan: “Startup Labs“. They are going to play a bigger Startup Weekend, it will be 22 days, with a fund of US$30,000 in the beginning and another US$6500 for the winner. This will first begin in Taiwan, check this link if you’re interested: About Startup Labs.

You can see more posts about Startup Weekend Hsinchu here:

http://hsinchu.startupweekend.org/