Interview with Marc Nager, CEO of Startup Weekend
No Talk, All Action. Launch a Startup in 54 hours. That’s the philosophy of Startup Weekend, a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities.
Q: What is Startup Weekend?
Startup Weekend is the best way to test out your ideas and find possible co-founders. Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch startups.
It is a weekend long simulation for launching a company that just so happens to launch some really legitimate new startups.
Q: What is your mission?
Our mission is to provide the world's best experiential education for entrepreneurs.
Q: Where do you hold your events?
As of today, we have held over 350 events in 160 cities and 92 countries around the world.
Q: Why would someone want to attend a Startup Weekend?
There are many reasons, but I’d say the top two are learning and networking.
Startup Weekends are all about learning through the act of creating. It’s a different kind of education where you don’t just listen to theory, you build your own strategy and test it as you go. You also get a chance to step out of your comfort zone to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language or just try something different.
It’s also a place where you can build your network and look for co-founders. Our events also attract key members of your community. By spending the weekend working together to solve real-world problems, you can build long-lasting relationships. We also invite local tech and startup leaders who participate as mentors and judges and you get the chance to chat with these thought leaders.
Q: What is your relationship to the Kauffman Foundation?
The Kauffman Foundation is our largest underwriter to help keep the Startup Weekend model spreading to communities across the world.
Q: What do you hear the Startup Community saying about Microsoft BizSpark?
BizSpark has been one of the largest global supporters for not just Startup Weekend but aspiring entrepreneurs around the world. BizSpark is probably the most effective startup support program of any major corporations out there.
Q: What is the future of Startup Weekend?
Startup Weekend is one of the leading catalysts for bringing together startup communities, from the most veteran of entrepreneurs to the most ambitious dreams just out of school, we are taking a holistic approach to supporting entrepreneurs before, during and after Startup Weekend.