Earlier this summer I attended Startup Weekend EDU in San Francisco. And I'm excited to be headed to another Startup Weekend EDU later this month, this one in a city that's known for some awesome education/technology entrepreneurs. I love Startup Weekend -- I love the energy and enthusiasm; I love seeing what people can build over the course of a weekend.
Now arguably, all Startup Weekends are educational events: over the course of 54 hours, you'd be amazed at how much you can learn about how to build a successful startup. The events -- over 300 of which have been held all over the world -- have brought together entrepreneurs and engineers, along with local startup and tech leaders, for intensive weekends of learning and doing -- building a "minimum viable product."
Recently Startup Weekend has begun to hold events that address the education space directly. (I believe the Kauffman Foundation, the event sponsor, is looking at other specialized events too, for healthcare and clean-tech, for example.) This makes it a perfect opportunity to open the event up beyond the tech-entrepreneurial crowd that's typically in attendance. In the case of Startup Weekend EDU, it's a great event for parents, students, educators to attend too. (I'd go so far as to argue, educators, that it's pretty important that you do. See my story on MindShift for a story about LessonCast, a teacher-driven startup built at Startup Weekend SF EDU.)
There's only so much you can do over the course of a Startup Weekend, of course -- you pitch your ideas on Friday evening; teams are assembled; and then you work throughout Saturday and Sunday on idea validation, customer development, and coding. Come Sunday evening, it's time to pitch your startup idea -- and a demo -- to a panel of judges.
So in advance of the event, there's a UserVoice thread discussing some of the issues and ideas that participants might want to tackle. You're welcome to participate (and one of the event sponsors, TeachStreet is offering discount codes to the event to those who do).
So mark your calendar: September 30 - October 2 on the University of Washington Campus. I'll be there as a mentor -- in very esteemed company, I should add, that includes investor and technology Mitch Kapor who'll be keynoting and judging.