Start-up Weekend Athens, less than two days to go (updated)

So, are you ready for the big challenge? Setting up a team and turning an idea into a start-up, over the weekend? No, this is not a catch phrase, more than 150 people have already signed up to Startup Weekend Athens and will do just this, starting on Friday at 4.30pm.

The event, to be hosted at the Microsoft Innovation Center at Leoforos Vasilissis Sofias 103, is almost sold out and let me share with you that the only ‘promo’ used was an announcement in our event and a follow-up blog post; so you know who to expect and the enthusiasm and passion for tech start-ups your coworkers will bring up with. 

geeks working around the table on their start-up
geeks working around the table on their start-up

Alexandros Pagidas (the so-called greek ‘Philosopher 2.0’) and Andrew Hyde (founder of Startup Weekends around the globe) are flying from the States to organize the event and bring the SUW magic into Athens, so that the only thing you need to do is just show up, or you’d better start preparing from now on.

Let me give you a few tips:

  • bring your own laptop, you’ll also be provided with a chair, desk and wifi, I bet we won’t need anything else
  • you are not there only to meet up with other people, you are there to build and launch an app over the weekend (and the best way to get to know people better is coworking with others)
  • start thinking on applicable ideas from now on and, remember, next to a web app you also need a revenue model
  • don’t fix your team before the event, on friday evening you will pitch your idea to everyone and probably many interesting people will show up wanting to work with you; I bet that one of the best things out of the weekend is getting the chance to work together with people you haven’t worked with before
  • I’m sure that the event will be both fun and tough, but, in any case, you’d better not let the chance go by and go create something really cool and useful, things may turn out to be much better than expected (20.000 euro included)
  • MS being the event’s host does not mean that you need to develop on MS technologies (you may say that exactly the opposite is true, if you like :)
Andrew Hyde, the mind & soul behind each SUW
Andrew Hyde, the mind and soul behind each SUW

The preliminary program goes like this:

(update) The updated program is:

Friday November 21st

  • 4.30 p.m. doors open at Microsoft Innovation Center at Leoforos Vasilissis Sofias 103, Athens (map)
  • 5 p.m. The event officially begins. The organizers and hosts say a few words and then people are encouraged to meet one another, exchange ideas, form teams and think about what would be interesting to build.
  • 7 p.m. Pitches start. In other words, this is the stage where if you have an idea you pitch it to the teams that are beginning to form.
  • 8 p.m. Teams have formed and ideas have been chosen and they begin to break off for further discussion. So if we end up with 10 teams this means 10 startups would be created.
  • 9 p.m. Teams have hopefully solidified their concept and have created an elevator pitch, even a simple one at the moment would do.
  • 10 p.m. Teams continue their discussions and attempt to paper-prototype their applications

There will be light dinner (finger food) available.

Alexandros Pagidas, the greek co-host
Alexandros Pagidas, the greek co-host

Saturday 22nd of November

  • 9 a.m. Doors open. People assemble; each team starts working on development.
  • 10 a.m. By now it would be a good idea to have your site paper prototyped out, working title, all your technical plans made out. Start the process of getting your servers live, buying domain names, and creating user flows.
  • 11 a.m. up to 2 p.m. Special Guests offering technical assistance start dropping in. The guests are: Constantinos Leftheris, Software Engineer from Allweb; Stavros Menegos, Technical Director from Entersoft; George Reklitis, Applications Development Consultant from Microsoft Hellas.
  • 12 p.m. Lunch
  • 3 p.m. up to 6 p.m. More coding, business plan development and Special Guests offering Business and PR advice start dropping in. The guests offering Business advice are going to be: Nikolaos Mylonopoulos, Associate Dean of Innovation & Technology, Associate Professor of Innovation Systems from Athens Laboratory of Business Administration (ALBA); Giorgos Papagiannakis, PhD Candidate, , Department of Management Science and Technology, Researcher Officer, Laboratory of Strategy and Entrepreneurship from Athens University of Economics & Business (AUEB); Lefteris Kioses, Science and Technology, Research Officer, ELTRUN e-Business Research Center from AUEB; Iordanis Papadopoulos, Principal from ARCHIMEDES Center for Innovation and Creation. The guests offering PR advice are going to be: Agapi Palieraki, PR Supervisor from Politics; Konstantina Logotheti, Public Relations & Citizenship Specialist from Microsoft Hellas.
  • 6 p.m. Pitches from the teams and additional special guest drop-ins. These guests are generally experts in particular fields (Business Development experts, Technical Assistance etc.) that will help startup teams develop a better product. The guest list will be announced when finalized.
  • 8 p.m. Dinner
  • 9 p.m. Gut check on the product; basic prototype building; group get-together for refreshment or dinner and to talk about the products everybody is working on.
Pitching your idea to set up your team
Pitching your idea to set up your team

Sunday 23rd of November

  • 9 a.m. Doors open, and work starts again.
  • 10 a.m. Teams should be able to have a live splash page up with an email capture and simple blog.
  • 12 p.m. Projects are being developed, more special guests start dropping in. This time we’ll have Venture Capitalists, Investment Managers and Lawyers offering their expertise. The guests are going to be: Antigoni Lymperopoulou, Investment Manager from TANEO – New Economy Development Fund; Eleni Kolofotia, Investment Manager from TANEO – New Economy Development Fund; Demetrios Seferis, CEO from GloCal Systems Management/GIVE -TANEO; Chris Velissaris, CFO from GloCal Systems Management/GIVE -TANEO; Natasha Arvanitie, Investment Manager from GloCal Systems Management/GIVE -TANEO; Ari Vihersaari, CDO from GloCal Systems Management/GIVE -TANEO; Pavlos Georgiadis, Technical/Investment Analyst from GloCal Systems Management/GIVE -TANEO; Iordanis Papadopoulos, Principal from ARCHIMEDES Center for Innovation and Creation; Grace Katsoulis, Lawyer from Ballas Pelekanos & Associates.
  • 1 p.m. Lunch
  • 6 p.m. Sink or swim time for those looking for a weekend launch.
  • 8 p.m. Dinner
  • 9 p.m. Presentations from each company; what worked, what didn’t, what could go better. Wrap up and move out.

So, bring on your very own passion, creativity and ideas and let’s rock all together, let’s build some great apps and make Startup Weekend Athens -why being modest- the most successful one so far!

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