Amazing things happen at Startup Weekend – Part 2: After Startup Weekend
After that first Startup Weekend OC at Chapman University and three months of crazy work that landed us a place at the K5 Accelerator, amazing things ended up tying together for me. Although the Appointmap project didn’t quite coalesce, and we had the dubious distinction of “failing fast” as K5 Launch first team to fall apart, we also were the only Startup OC team from that weekend to make it into an accelerator program.
The time that I spent at K5 Launch was amazing. I was introduced to some incredible mentors, and was tutored on some lean startup methods that I hadn’t been exposed to in my other startup companies. Although my partners and I had done all of our companies as lean bootstraps, I learned a slightly different approach and methodology in K5Launch. The focus on presentations for Angels and V.C.s was new to me, and the pitch became extremely important.
The Inventors Forum
While in K5 Launch,I was introduced to the Inventors Forum, which meets at Chapman University. The Inventors Forum is a unique organization where inventors get together to help each other. They meet twice a month at Chapman. The 2nd Friday of the month is a presentation on topics such as: patents, trademarks, marketing, prototyping, or other items of interest to inventors; and the last Friday of the month is a members only meeting where inventors can share their ideas under a mutual NDA (non disclosure agreement) and get feedback on how to overcome any challenges they are facing. It’s a blast! The members are amazing, and I’ve recently been drafted to serve on the Board of Directors…(They snuck up on me… LOL) I actually really love the group of people and their desire to help each other succeed.
Back at K5 Launch, Appointmap was given a shadow team of students from Chapman University to help us with our marketing strategies, and I met some brilliant and enthusiastic students. Some of whom, I am pleased to say, I still keep in touch with. Rob Erikson is now the Creative Producer at L37 Creative, Isaac Rosales is on staff at the eVillage and starting Movienomics in the film industry, and Tyler Lundmark has brought his family business online to amazing success with RoomDividersNow.com.
Through the K5 Launch and the Chapman eVillage, I got to know some of the members on the other teams such as Erik Knepfler, who now has a company called HaveAByte.com, one of the quickest programmers I’ve ever known; and Anshul Amar, another brilliant developer, is the co-founder of Unfold.com, an amazing new type of news site.
The Chapman University Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship
The Chapman eVillage also opened a new business network to me and subsequently introduced me to a world of amazing individuals. I was fortunate to meet and get to know Christopher Buckstein, who is in charge of the eVillage program and Richard Sudeck, who is in charge of the Entrepreneurship program at Chapman University. These two men have created an network of superb talent within the business community through a mentor system unlike anything I had ever seen. The time and commitment to the students that both Richard and Chris demonstrate every day is remarkable. Through the two of them, they have assembled over 160 business mentors who are available to the student teams at Chapman University; all of whom donate their time and expertise to the students for free. I would have killed for something like this when I was in college! I’m fortunate to have assisted some of the teams, such as Deltux, a much needed real estate system, founded by Adam Miller, MotorMood lead by Christina deSantis and Jessica Cardelucci, a talented local photographer; and even more fortunate that some of the mentors have graciously offered their time and advice on my own technology startup, ADapplied, a new online advertising platform that will be launching soon. The business community in Orange County has radically changed in Orange County during the past three years in large part due to Richard Sudeck and Christopher Buckstein from Chapman University, and Amir Banifatemi and Ray Chan from K5Launch.
SWOC 2013 at Chapman University
With another Startup Weekend quickly approaching (and if you read this after it passes, it won’t be long before another one arrives), you should really try to attend it if you have an interest in business, technology, and solving some of the pains you see in the marketplace. It is great fun, and obviously, as you can see in my case, you never know where it will lead. I’ll be mentoring at this coming Startup Weekend, and helping to teach at the Startup Next class which follows in December and January. Startup Next is a five week crash course on the Lean Startup method. The class is taught at Chapman University and is an incredible primer for anyone with a business idea that they would like to get off the ground.
To learn more:
about the Startup Weekend organization
About Startup Weekend Orange County (AKA S.W.O.C.)
about Chapman University Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship
PART ONE OF THIS ARTICLE: Chapman University’s Startup Weekend OC- Part 1