Startup Weekend Orlando: A Mentor’s View at #SWORL

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:

  1. I enjoying giving back to the community with my knowledge and expertise in a variety of areas. 
  2. 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.
  3. I like to network with like minded individuals, including participants, mentors, and organizers.
  4. 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.

SWORL Mentor Sketch

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.

Just some basic Event Metrics! 
Metrics: 87 attendees, 37 ideas pitched, 12 teams formed
Congrats to the winners:
Frisbee – Frisbee is a proximity-based social network that allows users to communicate with the other people in their same vicinity.
Photo Apr 14, 7 35 54 PM
CareSpotter – CareSpotter is an online Senior Care marketplace that empowers families to connect directly with local Professional Caregivers.
Photo Apr 14, 7 29 28 PM
GITForce – Collaborative development for the Force.com platform.
Photo Apr 14, 7 28 38 PM
SignWaive – A liability waiver application for businesses that will allow providers to process payments and enable business to engage with their customers through email and social media.
Photo Apr 14, 7 37 22 PM

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.

Stay connected with other attendees
Like our Page
Join our Group
Follow us on Twitter

Thank you to all the sponsors, speakers, mentors, and host

SponsorsFlorida High Tech CorridorSeminole Technology Business incubation CenterSeminole State College CEDStartup Orange CountyADTOffice DepotCostcoMarriot OrlandoFlorida SBDCSCORESeminole CountyBraathe EnterprisesVesta TeleradiologyGizmo ProductionsAspireduOrlando iOS Developer Group, Professor Josh, and Orlando Tech Meetup.

Speakers: Peter Atwal and Jerry Ross

Photo Apr 12, 7 45 31 PM

The Judges: Henry Dreifus, Dr. Melissa Kuchma, Arthur Pancoe

Photo Apr 14, 7 34 07 PM

Mentors and VolunteersJosh MurdockNancy ReilandEddy BorjaAmy KirklandJoshua JohnsonMaria Rodriguez-ScottKen YorkRobert GoetzSterling BatesShawn Moore

Mentors working with teams

OrganizersOrrett DavisChristine OrtizRon Ben-Zeev

Photo Apr 12, 9 36 43 PM

Our HostSeminole 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.

Orlando Tech Meetup
EdTech Orlando
BarCamp Orlando
Orlando Startup Digest
Orlando Tech Events 

See at the next Startup Weekend Orlando!  #SWOrl

Don’t forget about Trucks and Tech event this Thursday 4/25!

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