This was my fifth Startup Weekend Orlando event as a mentor. Why do I volunteer my time to be a mentor at Startup Weekend?
It’s due to a couple different personal reasons:
- I enjoying giving back to the community with my knowledge and expertise in a variety of areas.
- I believe in helping build Orlando’s tech community and I believe this is one of the events that will help build this community needed to grow.
- I like to network with like minded individuals, including participants, mentors, and organizers.
- We have fun! If you aren’t having fun at startup weekend, you are doing it all wrong.
It’s amazing to see how tight our mentor group is with the tech and business community in Orlando and how we all want to help blossom. Many of the mentors stay a majority of the weekend in Orlando, which isn’t the same at other Startup Weekend. I have always tried to attend Friday night, a good part of Saturday, and part of Sunday (including final pitches). I think this time gives me a good chance to see the teams grow, teams go through various stages, and really make an impact on the community we are trying to build.
We do mentoring a little different in Orlando from various other startup weekends. As mentors we signup for various shift during Saturday and Sunday. Each shift tends to overlap to give us time to have mentor meetings; where we can discuss groups, check on group statuses, and are able to divide up certain talents to assist the teams who really need the extra push in the right direction. We love to use whiteboard with lots of markers representing different status levels for key parts of the pitch that need to come together by the end of the weekend. This lends itself to a 360 approach to mentoring that continues throughout the weekend. Throughout the weekend we encourage mini pitches for them to keep practicing on getting their ideas out. Sunday we have signup times for them to pitch to mentors for feedback before meeting the judges. Giving time for teams to add, delete, and modify pitches. It’s satisfying to watch these teams pitch, showing how far each has come along this 54 hour journey. Many mentors stay connected with various teams after the event, helping guide and connect them to the right people.
I think everyone has finally recovered from 54 hours of coding, designing, and hustling. It’s always a truly amazing experience.
Get a quick video recap of all the excitement over the #SWORL weekend:
When is the next Startup Weekend Orlando?
Be on the look out for the next Startup Weekend Orlando in the next 3-4 months.
Thank you to all the sponsors, speakers, mentors, and host
Sponsors: Florida High Tech Corridor, Seminole Technology Business incubation Center, Seminole State College CED, Startup Orange County, ADT, Office Depot, Costco, Marriot Orlando, Florida SBDC, SCORE, Seminole County, Braathe Enterprises, Vesta Teleradiology, Gizmo Productions, Aspiredu, Orlando iOS Developer Group, Professor Josh, and Orlando Tech Meetup.
Speakers: Peter Atwal and Jerry Ross
The Judges: Henry Dreifus, Dr. Melissa Kuchma, Arthur Pancoe
Our Host: Seminole State College @ Heathrow
Connect with the Orlando’s startup and tech community:
Here are just a few upcoming events and resources to stay connected with what’s going on around Orlando.
See at the next Startup Weekend Orlando! #SWOrl