Innovation Incubator: Start Up Weekend

Today we feature Start Up Weekend, a non-profit designed to spur innovation through an intense 54 hours of working in teams to pitch, select and build start ups.

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From their website:

Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.

There’s usually a selection of winners from among the teams along with cash prizes. Their numbers are impressive: 

1068 events, 478 cities, 8190 start ups created, 100k entrepreneurs

Typically, the events are comprised of people with computer software design, business or legal skills who work on interdisciplinary teams to create technology-based companies. Now there is a movement for education-specific weekends called Startup Weekend Education where all of the pitches and ideas are aimed toward improving or revolutionizing education. Teachers are invited to “teacher-approve” pitches before they go out.

What I’m wondering is whether the structure of these events are worth thinking about for instruction in schools? It seems like the intense, focused creation of something new that has real world value in inter-disicplinary teams with feedback from experts is worth considering for school projects. Maybe even teacher training? 

I think I’ll go to one in my area to see if there are implications for teaching and learning in the structure of these weekends. Am I nuts or do you agree there might be something here?

 

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Categories: Innovation Series

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