Mentor for Startup Weekend at the Blackstone LaunchPad
I had so much fun last Saturday as a mentor for Techstars Startup Weekend with the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University in partnership with Google for Startups. The event brings together SU students who are interested in entrepreneurship to create a concept for a business and its product, with a pitch deck and chance to win $1,000! Some of the students came into the weekend with teams, and some met on the spot to create full product mockups and more over just two days. I was working with student teams to ready them for the pitch that Saturday evening.
Plus, there was free food, so everyone's a winner, haha. Here’s a photo of me advertising Good Uncle, a food delivery app in and around the Syracuse University campus area.
I was asked to write a brief paragraph of my experience with the LaunchPad, along with my background:
Through the LaunchPad, I founded my own company "Art Inspires You," also writing about my background for Newsweek. Prior to this, I founded and ran a community of 14,000 members focused on hair and style. I build entire communities through R&D stage strategy, and storytelling; I received my M.A. in Journalism while working with the LaunchPad. I ask all the questions we answer in our heads, but forget to put on paper. I help others tell their company stories and craft pitches to highlight the product's underlying brand and mission.
I've been making websites since age 10, adept at SEO/SEM, hosting, design and light development. I also helped others with my design experience, creating succinct decks and materials.
This would help to place me with a team — and clearly, I wrote just the right things, as I was placed with an awesome team heading up new app '“Grocerize.”
This amazing team came together in just two days to create a concept for both a product and business, design of the app interface, business target audience, brand identity, pitch deck — and crazy amounts of research, both from experience, online and real-time interviews of their peers.
This is what true teamwork looks like, I thought — they all identified their individual strengths and needs to create the business and execute their product plans. They communicated these strengths and needs, and continued to communicate face-to-face throughout the process. Each worked on various tasks associated with the overall goals, walking around the speak with one another, while being managed by the appointed project manager.
The team did an amazing job with their pitch and their ideas at Startup Weekend! I can’t wait to see them further develop this idea into a business.