TRTech, the company I work for, had decided to become a sponsor for a local event called Calgary Startup Weekend between July 12 and 14 in 2013. I had heard some good things about it, and so I decided to join. I ended up hearing a pitch by Adam Martinson around an environmental reporting system and really liked the idea; and so did six other people. We worked on a demo and a pitch through the weekend and ended up winning the award for the best energy tech startup. We’ve been working on the company ever since and recently launched the alpha version of our app EnvRecon (previously called EnvData.
We have had conversations with many major players including but not limited to people from Cenovus Environment Opportunity Fund, the Alberta Energy Regulator and Worley Parsons and have received a lot of positive feedback. In addition, we have a number of valuable people on our advisory board. But enough about us. I want to talk more about the upcoming Calgary Startup Weekend event.
Calgary Startup Weekend is organizing their next event between November 8-10, 2013. This event will be focused around women in technology. The event will be organized by Kylie Toh (@kylietoh) and Michelle Stanners. Kylie is one of the organizers of Chic Geek, an organization that celebrates women in technology. You should definitely attend one of their meetups. Michelle Stanners is the director of Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD).
Being in a startup is exciting. You own a part (or all) of the company and you are (usually) creating a solution to a problem that exists unsolved in society. That is a great place to be.
Yes, it is a risk too. The company you start/join may not work out. In fact, most don’t. But that’s the case with any adventure in life. And only by putting yourself out there and taking a risk can you do something incredible.
The great thing about Calgary Startup Weekend is that it allows you to get a feel for what it is like to be in a startup for a weekend. You don’t have to go “all the way” with the company you end up helping over the weekend (although you are encouraged to). I’ll be developing for some company this Startup Weekend, but since I already have two jobs (TRTech and EnvRecon), I won’t be helping that company beyond the weekend. And that’s OK.
Joining Startup Weekend is like test-driving a Ferrari and having the option of not buying it if you don’t like it (or can’t affort it :P ).
More importantly, by coming to the event, you are supporting the involvement of women in entrepreneurship, science, engineering and art. And that’s reason enough!
Oh and most importantly, you should come because I’ll be there :D. Come chat with me and we might end up working on solving a problem together.