The Stirring Weekend: Techstars Global Startup Weekend

Let’s begin this with an anecdote. It’s a story that you have heard before but probably forgot. It is a story about a farmer and his 6 children. On his death bed, the farmer called all of them for his last words. He asked the eldest child to bring a few sticks and try to break one. The man brought the sticks and was confused about his father’s motives as he broke one stick very easily. He asked him to break two sticks together and he did it easily. Now, all of them were confused. He asked him to break 6 sticks together. He couldn’t. The father asked everyone to give it a try and everyone failed. The father smiled faintly and said, ” If you children fall apart, anyone will be able to break you. But if you stick together as a team, no one will be able to break you.” He closed his eyes with a smile on his face. Techstars, a global platform for investment and innovation, have provided the world a platform to unite and fight against COVID-19.

The notion of doom’s day takes me to those sci-fi movies where a few heroes save the whole world. The world leaders are doing their best to curb this pandemic and the biggest contributor to containing this virus is the people of the world who have been patient enough to follow all government guidelines in order to protect themselves and the community. Our heart goes out to each victim of the virus and each doctor of that patient. It takes courage to face such a deadly virus and mankind will always be grateful to them. But there are some people or companies who stand out from everything. Techstars is one of them.

For this year’s Global Startup Weekend, they have decided to unite thousands of innovative and proactive minds to create a creative disruption in order to fight COVID-19. Let’s find out what entailed this exciting weekend on the virtual utopia of Techstars Global Startup Weekend.

This online startup weekend will be run at a country level where all the steps will focused on coming up with solutions that can tackle COVID-19 problems directly. Amazing mentors, industry magnates, founders and partners — Every step you fumble on, you will be held up and guided by these brilliant people to the right path. It’s a 54 hour online program that will educate technical and non-technical entrepreneurs so that their journey to make a positive difference is shortened with the help of the most brilliant people in the realm.

Many countries bring out hundreds or even thousands of ideas and work on prototypes for three days. And its not just about developers; people who are interested in the topic can come to inspire and be inspired by this flawless process of creative disruption.

Source: https://covid.startupweekend.org/

They have called out every developer, marketer, nurse, doctor, student, scientist , teacher to come and work with the like-minded people of their country and make a positive effect. The Startup weekends of previous years have proved this 54 hour weekend to be really thrilling and lessons you learn in these 3 days, the highs, the lows, the pressure, the excitement – you learn this 12 month lessons in 3 days. When was the last time you had such a thrilling weekend?

Source: https://covid.startupweekend.org/

As we have established the stir of this weekend, let us find out what makes it stirring. The following was the schedule for the GSW in India:

Wednesday 15th April

6:00 PM — Discord Onboarding

Thursday 16th April

5:00 pm–Idea Submission Deadline

7:00 pm–Networking

Friday 17th April

11:00 am–Selected Ideas Announcement

6:00 pm— Event kickoff with Techstars’ amazing Facilitators on YouTube Live.

6:20 pm— Review agenda for the weekend and introduce coaches, and community leaders

7:10 pm–Form Teams. Teams start forming and discussing ideas

8:00 pm–Begin Work. Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills.

8:15 pm–Pitch Presentation Workshop

Saturday 18th April

10:00 am— Team Check-Ins

11:00 am–Mentoring Round 1

3:00 pm–Mentoring Round 2

8:00 pm–Facilitator Review

Sunday 19th April

9:00 am–Final Mentoring Session

10:00 am–Morning Check-in with Facilitators

1:00 pm–Pitch Deck Submission (Deadline)

4:30 pm–Top 10 Announcement

5:30 pm–Final Pitching Starts

7:00 pm–Winners Announcement

It was a privilege for utobo to be shortlisted amongst the top 100 brilliant minds in the country. We started this weekend with utmost enthusiasm and ended it with even more. Our CEO, Mr. Raj Sahu was the leading man and he shared his experience with us and those kind words made us even more excited to lead our own teams one day in such a prestigious program. Raj believes that the organizing team did a superb job in making this event successful on an online platform. He felt the energy reverberating through this virtual utopia; and this energy was strong enough to tackle the COVID-19 challenge. The support he gained in this weekend was incredible and the organizing team was available literally 24 hours a day. And when Raj explained the atmosphere amongst the participants, we were spellbound because the atmosphere was of camaraderie and support. Everyone wanted to do the best but also helped each other. And the mentors and judges were really well experienced and were willing help everyone to help our community from this pandemic. Utobo went in the weekend with numerable codes but ended the weekend with innumerable lessons and friends. We ended up being the top 12 companies in the weekend.

Again and again, we must not stop stressing on the fact that the world leaders can do only so much. It is our responsibility to step up and try to make a difference while staying in our homes. We would like to thank Techstars for giving the world an opportunity to make a difference and stop this Coronavirus blizzard from turning into a Coronavirus winter. Stay Home Stay Safe 🙂

Avinash Somjani is an intern at utobo and he is currently pursuing his MBA at SIBM Bengaluru. He is passionate about sports, science fiction, history and the ever changing colour of his pen.