BOOTCAMP director Zachary Cohn of Startup Weekend Headquarters in Seattle is scheduled to arrive on Nov. 8 to facilitate the staging of Startup Weekend Davao on Nov. 9-11 and Startup Weekend Cebu 2 on Nov. 16-18 here.
Cohn said he will be in the country not just to facilitate the event but also to give the Filipino public more insight about Startup Weekend.
He said some people still don’t know a thing about Startup Weekend and varying questions have been asked about it.
“When you first hear about it, Startup Weekend might sound kind of crazy,” Cohn said. “Why are the attendees doing this? Why are the organizers even doing this? It’s not like they’re getting paid to do this or anything. Well, you have to be a bit crazy to get involved with startups.”
He said one can think of it like the next generation of gambling. “In gambling, you bet a certain amount of money with the anticipation of a payoff that is multiples higher. For low risk bets it might be a 2x return. For a high risk bet, maybe it’s 20x.”
“Startups are the same way. You could invest in Apple stock and you know it will probably keep going up, and if you stick with it you will probably get a 10-20% return. Or you could invest in a startup. The risk is much higher (you will probably lose all your money)… but the possibly payoff is 10x, 20x, even 100x what you put in.”
“And that’s why it’s so fun and so addicting. Sometimes people invest time (founders), sometimes they invest money (angel investors, VCs, etc), but either way everyone is hoping for that Homerun return.
“So why are people so excited about Startup Weekend? Because it’s a way for anyone to get involved. It’s a safe place for someone who’s heard of this ‘entrepreneurship’ thing and wants to learn more. And that’s awesome, because the more people who are involved in a startup community, the more everyone learns, the better everyone does, and the stronger it gets.”
Cohn said Startup Weekend is a great way to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurial communities. “It can invigorate more people to get involved. And once there’s a critical mass of entrepreneurs, the rest of the infrastructure will happen.”
“Accelerators and incubators will pop up. More angels and VCs will start investing. Infrastructure itself (faster internet, etc) will improve as there is an increase in demand. Once it’s obvious that there is opportunity, Universities may even start changing their curriculum to help better prepare students for starting their own companies instead of working for someone else.”
“When it comes down to it, the more entrepreneurs there are, the better for everyone. Initially there will be more services to support those entrepreneurs. In a short amount of time, those entrepreneurs will be creating more jobs, which means people can find interesting, intellectually stimulating, and high paying jobs locally, instead of having to move abroad.”
“So why should you get involved with Startup Weekend? Because with more than 550 events in 2012 alone, we are helping to catalyze this change all over the world. But this isn’t a top-down effort. We’re providing the framework, but we need people on the ground, the locals like you, to carry the torch to make their startup community really grow.”
The inaugural Startup Weekend Davao will be held at the Philippine College of Technology, while Startup Weekend Cebu 2 will be at St. Ezekiel Moreno Bldg., University of San Jose Recoletos-Basak campus.