Super Startup Weekend Part 3: Indianapolis Raises the Bar for All Startup Weekends

I arrived at the Purdue Research Center in Indianapolis a little weary from my travels but was instantly reinvigorated by Lorraine Ball whose infectious enthusiasm was still in full force at 10pm on Saturday night. In case you think I’m exaggerating, watch this:

Most of the teams were still there when I arrived. A few wanted to keep working late into the night but around Midnight we all headed out to rest up for Sunday. I spent some time with the NoteSee.co team led by Joel Smith. My first question to him was, “is this your first Startup Weekend?” Much to the credit of the Startup Weekend organization, more often than not that answer is “yes.” Joel on the other hand is a startup junkie. In this video he talks about NoteSee and also just how many other Startup Weekends he’s been to.

Teams fired back up Sunday morning to start finalizing their demos that take place Sunday evening. By this point the teams have usually settled on what exactly will be ready in time to demo. It’s also about this time some team members break out PowerPoint, Keynote or (inceasingly) Prezi and start working on their slides. As afternoon approaches you can see a shift into crunch time as the clock races toward demos. Despite the craziness, all of the teams were gracious enough to take a few minutes to talk about what they were working on:

Just before I had to leave for Chicago I got a chance to talk to the youngest entrepreneur I’ve encountered to date. Nine-year-old Daniel just didn’t attend, he PITCHED. I run into people at these events all the time that are hesitant to pitch. I always try to implore people to pitch because you don’t know what will come of it and it gets conversations started. Despite this, they’re still hesitant. Now I can tell them a nine-year-old kid pitched. There are no excuses any more. Curious about what Daniel’s idea was? Watch a video of my favorite moment of the whole weekend:

Indianapolis was full of surprises, but none better than that one.

Startup Weekend Indianapolis was impeccably organized. Check out the Facebook page from the event. That page should be the textbook for how all the events should be covered. From the venue, to the organization, to the teams, Indy has raised the bar in my book. I look forward to spending an entire weekend at a SW Indy in the future. And as a big bonus, flawless wi-fi. Next stop, Chicago.

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