How to Take a Company from Concept to Creation in 54 Hours

Release Date: 10/24/2011

Startup Weekend to release first book in November 2011

Media Contacts
Elizabeth Steinberg, 816-932-1136, esteinberg@kauffman.org, Kauffman Foundation
Melissa Torra, 201-748-6834, mtorra@wiley.com, John Wiley & Sons     

Startup Weekend™—the organization behind 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and create startups—has spawned both a global initiative in entrepreneurship as well as numerous successful startups. It quickly became a nexus for early-stage startup activity in communities across the globe, and by the end of 2010, Startup Weekend had built a network of over 25,000 alumni, 150 volunteer organizers and 60 trained facilitators spread across more than 100 cities in 30 countries.

On Nov. 8, 2011, with funding from the Kauffman Foundation, the organization’s co-founders, Marc Nager, Clint Nelsen and Franck Nouyrigat, are sharing best practices, lessons learned and empowering examples in their new book, Startup Weekend: How to Take a Company From Concept to Creation in 54 Hours (Wiley; Hardcover and eBook; November 2011). From a reliance on trust to an aversion to unwieldy structure, each of the key beliefs outlined in the book have been tested by Startup Weekend and yielded powerful results.

“Our goal is to take readers through the actual experience of Startup Weekend,” says Nager. “What it’s like to pitch your business idea to 200 strangers in 60 seconds; how teams struggle when they discover that other people have had similar ideas; what it’s like to see how well someone works and how much they know within hours of meeting him or her; and what it’s like to meet some of the most experienced and successful mentors in the startup world.”

Derived from the organization's experiences, the book is intended for individuals and small organizations to follow as they prepared to launch new businesses from the ground up. Startup Weekend touches on: 

  • Consequences for startup development as entrepreneurs and founders begin doing much more, even faster
  • The Startup business model: Listen, adapt, and stay lean
  • Recruiting talent
  • The Startup business model and ecosystem
  • Profiles of successful Startup Weekend companies, including two powerful examples: Memolane, an application that captures a user's online life in one timeline making it easy for users to travel back in time and relive memories; and Foodspotting, a mobile and desktop app that allows users to find and share the foods they love

It can be scary trying to be an entrepreneur, but Startup Weekend’s philosophy is all about building trust in a community in order to create the newest, greatest and most innovative business imaginable.

“Entrepreneurship is open to everyone,” says Nelsen. “We wrote the book to explain that it’s not just developers or graphic designers - a lot of people are starting companies and being very successful from non-technical backgrounds. The book serves as a roadmap to anyone interested in becoming an entrepreneur.”

Through an emphasis on action-based networking, participants in Startup Weekend events get to see people's skills in action and experience a low-risk way to build business relationships. They receive an experiential education with the benefit of context, deadlines and instant feedback. In the spirit of these events, the book delivers crucial, step-by-step advice for getting past the idea to implementation. It also gives readers a primer on flexible organizational structures and information about how to produce viable products that move a business to market quicker, as entrepreneurs and founders begin doing much more, even faster.

“This book is definitely a hitchhiker’s guide to the entrepreneurial revolution,” adds Nouyrigat. “It explains how to get started, next steps to take and how you can take your idea to reality and launch a new, successful business.”

About the Authors:

Marc Nager, Clint Nelsen and Franck Nouyrigat are the co-founders of Startup Weekend™, a nonprofit with the mission to educate entrepreneurs, strengthen communities, and launch startups. Startup Weekend holds weekend events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and create startups in 54 hours. Startup Weekend began in June 2007, and the core team has grown to nine full-time and three part-time employees, along with a network of more than 120 volunteer facilitators and organizers who plan and lead Startup Weekend events around the world. For more information, please visit www.startupweekend.org or follow on Twitter at @StartupWeekend

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