With the goal in mind of turning ideas into new business models, the 2014 Women's Startup Weekend (SWW), a major event in the world of entrepreneurship, will take place August 15-17th at the FIAP in São Paulo, Brazil. It will be an opportunity for entrepreneurs, designers and developers to present their projects and have a chance to make them happen, through the sponsorship of one of the investors present on the judging panel.
Despite the name, the Startup Weekend is not exclusive to women. Including both female and male members, the event has been held in over 600 cities in 120 different countries. With an average of ten new businesses created by about a hundred participants, the SWW bring services that increasingly promise to innovate the market, and provide an environment of highly qualified networking.
The application known as Easy Taxi is among the many ideas that have become lucrative businesses in a few days. The company was devised in 2011 and participated in the Startup Weekend in Rio de Janeiro allowing it to receive the support of the co-founder of the site Peixe Urbano to run the application. Currently, the platform enables a passenger to call a taxi by phone or internet.
"Startup Weekend is a well-known model worldwide. I have attended two of the conferences as a mentor, one focusing on women. I can say that this is an amazing experience and a real opportunity for education on the professional side, as an entrepreneur, an educator and even as a human being. The initial ideas are transformed and final presentations are impressive," says Camila Achutti, an organizer of the event.
In Brazil, in addition to Rio de Janeiro, cities like São Paulo, Curitiba, João Pessoa, Brasília, Vitória, Foz do Iguaçu, Campinas, Sorocaba have already organized versions of the Startup Weekend. According to Ana Fontes, also among the organizers of the SWW, the expectation is to promote the event as an opportunity to brainstorm with some of the best professionals in the largest city in Latin America.
"Our goal is to help entrepreneurs to take their ideas from paper and to go through the process of creating their current or future business. The journey of Startup Weekend is super important and we, as members of the Enterprising Women Network, are very happy to organize this event," says the founder of the networking group.
How the SWW Works
On the first day, participants will present their ideas to the other participants and all of the members of the conference vote to select the ideas that will be worked on throughout the weekend. Once an idea has made it through the initial vote, the work begins to form groups and start modeling the new business.
On the second day, entrepreneurs turn to the FIAP to develop prototypes. This is where the ideas begin to take shape. With the support of mentors (all professionals with experience in entrepreneurship), the groups draw business models: validate solutions, develop projects and start new ventures.
In the third and final day, last-minute adjustments are made and the ideas are presented, and awards are given to the best models of entrepreneurship. The presentation will be made to the judging panel which is composed of Camila Farani (Director of Gávea Investimentos), Marcelo Nakagawa (expert in entrepreneurship), Maria Bueno Spina (Director of Angels Brazil) and Instituto Ayrton Senna.
Under the eyes of some of the country's leading investors, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to showcase their innovative idea and secure a sponsorship to make it reality. It is a unique opportunity to do business and transform ideas from the head to the hands.
The Women’s Startup Weekend also will have global sponsorships from Google, Cola-Cola, and Amazon, local sponsorship from Itaú, and Microsoft, support from FIAP, the Enterprising Women Network, Natheia, MIA and Startlab, and media support from Seppia Content Generation and Startupi.
What sort of events has your city hosted to encourage innovation?
Original article, originally published in Portuguese, here.
Credits: Images and data linked to sources.