San Antonio Startup Weekend.When the sun set Friday night in San Antonio, a group of dedicated entrepreneurs and entrepreneur wannabes gathered to create new companies during a 54 hour period as part of
By Sunday morning, about a dozen people had dropped out. They either left because their idea wasn’t picked as a project on Friday night or they didn’t like the team they joined or they just wanted to go home. No one really knows why they left because they are gone. Ideas pivoted. Personalities conflicted. Teams disintegrated. Others formed.
Only the hardy remain, and these men and women are a dedicated bunch who have toiled all night long, in many cases, to bring their companies to life.
Tonight they will pitch their ideas in front of a panel of judges.
Danny Willford, a developer from Kyle, hasn’t gotten a wink of sleep since the event began. He left briefly on Friday night to meet some friends in San Marcos to celebrate his 26th birthday. But instead of driving the short distance to Kyle from the party, he turned around and came back to Geekdom, a collaborative workspace on the 11th floor of the Weston Centre downtown, which is hosting the event.
When he returned at 3 a.m., he met up with Brian Curliss, one of the guys behind Massage by Students. They talked for two hours about Curliss’s idea and the project. By the end, Willford agreed to work on Massage by Students’ project even though he had already joined the OurPart.US team, which is developing a crowdfunding site for veterans.
Willford doesn’t mind the extra work. He loves Startup Weekend. A few months ago, he moved from Chicago to take a job as a PhP Java Script developer for MicroAssist in Austin. He has participated in two Startup Weekends in Chicago, the last one was last Fall.
“This is a great way to meet new people,” Willford said.
Like a few others participating in San Antonio Startup Weekend, Willford has not slept. A comfy white couch sits just a few feet from his chair in an office room. He removed the fluffy blankets to resist the temptation to lie down. He stays awake thanks to Red Bull, snacks and adrenaline.
A few hours ago, Chris Spence, one of the founders of Apartment Assurance, who vowed to stay up the entire weekend, crashed at 7 a.m. on Sunday. He’s now sleeping in a office on three red bean bag chairs with the lights off. Curliss with Massage by Students fell asleep around 5 a.m. on a red couch in a really dark interior conference room. He asked his team to wake him up at noon.
But Willford has no intention of sleeping. He’s got too much work to do. He’s creating the back end of the Massage by Students website and also working on creating the website for OurPart.us.
Why does he do all this work for free? In fact, he paid $100 to participate in this madness.
“This is really fun,” he said. “The organizers at this one are the most fun I’ve ever seen. They stay up with us. They give us free beer. I really like the Alamo Beer.”
But his real motivation for participating in San Antonio Startup Weekend is to create new products and eventually found his own company.
“I can’t wait to be my own boss and launch something successful,” he said. “Having the ability to say that I made something that people use and like. I would find that to be really gratifying.”
54 Hours with No Sleep, No Problem at Startup Weekend San Antonio
July 22, 2012 by 1 Comment