Startup Weekend Singapore 2015

So I have decided to dedicate the very first post of my blog to Startup Weekend Singapore 2015 that happened last weekend because of 2 reasons…

  1. Fulfill my free ticket promise from NUS Enterprise.
  2. I “lost” and I want to keep track of it.

First of all, a big thank you to NUS Enterprise for sponsoring the ticket to such an awesome event and getting me fat.

Also, a special mention to the organisers who did a great job in making the event happen and ensured everything went smoothly together with well-known speakers and judges gracing the event.

Now, let me bring you through my experience at the event in chronological order. Do note that I entered this event with high expectations of hoping to win it and launch my own startup; I even assembled a team prior to it.

Day One - Friday Night

During the first day which took place from dinner time till about 10pm, those with ideas were asked to pitch in front of all the participants. The top 20 ideas (by polling) will then try to attract people and form teams to work on the ideas during the weekend. To start the ball rolling, I let the only business guy in the team and my roommate during NOC represent the team and pitch the idea.

Our idea actually ended up being the most popular at the end of voting time which indicated that a good number of people wanted to join us. But frankly, we as a team decided against recruiting more team members as we felt there was no need to and we were more comfortable working within the three of us. It may seem like an irrational decision but I felt it was good in the sense that we respected each other’s decision and moved forward as a team.

Day Two - Saturday

On the second day of the event, I arrived a little earlier than my teammates to look for a space for us to work during the weekend. That was the result of the place you see in the picture below (I can’t imagine more people with us in that small space).


So with about 30 hours to the final presentation on Sunday evening, the three of us worked relentlessly mainly on market research, product validation and developing it.

In addition, we were also fortunate to have many smart and experienced mentors coming in to guide us. It was some sort of a double-edged sword to have the mentors advising us. One was that there were many great advice, but there were also too many of it. This taught us to understand and evaluate if a particular one is suitable for us to heed. Nonetheless, coming from a technical background, I really appreciate every single advice because they taught me something about building a product and business.

Day Three - Sunday

D-Day is here. Like many real startups, we pivoted a couple of times and landed on something that we felt good to work on. My fellow developer and I were busy building the prototype while my ex-roommate was working on his pitch deck. It felt like we figured things out and were working towards realising our vision.

However as can be gathered at the start of this blog post, the team did not win, not even third. But I can say that I am extremely proud of the work that we produced considering the short amount of time we had.

I also realised that instead of feeling down and disappointed, this is actually a stepping stone in the journey to being an entrepreneur. In fact, isn’t one of the traits in an entrepreneur being resilient? This “lost” will definitely remind me to.