I am now back in Seattle still riding the wave of energy created during the 2nd Startup Organizer’s Summit in Austin Texas! We had over 150 organizers from all over the world fly in and participate. Startup Weekend Organizers truly impact the lives of people through their event organizing efforts and I found it incredibly powerful and inspiring to hear stories from all over the world. This Summit has only amplified my motivation to expand the reach and impact of Startup Weekend around the world.
During the event I gave a short 5 minute talk about Startup Weekend Facilitators and their role with respect to the global Startup Weekend Community. In the early days of Startup Weekend (for those who don’t know) a Startup Weekend “Facilitator” (usually a single member from the core team or an early adopter of Startup Weekend events) was sent to an event to support the local organizers and maintain the consistency of the event structure. I believe this form of layered support and learned experience for events has helped to create a sense of community and connection between everyone involved in a Startup Weekend event. I am a firm believe that Startup Weekend Facilitators must continue to play a role in building and acting as the bonds between different entrepreneurial communities.
Below is a summarized version of what I talked about.
Today, Startup Weekend Facilitators are highly passionate and incredibly experienced past event organizer’s who possess the knowledge and know-how to design and create a truly amazing Startup Weekend event. Many of these Facilitators have participated in the Startup Weekend Facilitator Training Program and are equipped to answer questions about event planning logistics and know how to maintain a high-energy environment during events. These Facilitators are in various parts of the world and are a unique group of people. Of the 515 co-organizers and 399 lead-organizers, only 85 people in the world have ever facilitated a Startup Weekend event.
Facilitators have this wonderful collective knowledge and rich networks that they have developed through their Startup Weekend event planning experiences. Through these experiences and lessons learned, Facilitators are in a position to support their local events at a higher-level than just finding a suitable venue or ordering food. They can make introductions to past event sponsors, potential coaches and/or judges. They are able to talk about what was done poorly at one event or what was done really well at another. I believe that in order to expand and continue inspiring entrepreneurs to take action, Startup Weekend must leverage this collective knowledge and rich networks to maintain the consistency, increase the frequency and most importantly, the quality of events that are held around the world.
But that is not all – I view Startup Weekend Facilitators as the bonds between different entrepreneurial communities. We have Indian facilitators going to Singapore events. American facilitators going to Egyptian events. Danish facilitators going to Kenyan events. And for me, this is a BEAUTIFUL OPPORTUNITY, because Startup Weekend is one of the few (possibly the only) organization in the world that has the capacity to make these connections between people from different entrepreneurial communities. It is important that we continue to find ways to make these connections between people from different communities because when we do, relationships are made, sparks fly, and serendipity occurs.
If you are interested in learning more about what it takes to become a Startup Weekend Facilitator – please visit http://startupweekend.org/facilitator/