SPN interviews Shane Reiser of Startup Weekend
Typo on the dates for 2010 Startup Weekends fixed on 2/2/2010
Upon moving to Des Moines from St. Louis two years ago, Shane Reiser heard a lot of would-be entrepreneurs talking about their ideas but few taking action. He sought out an event that would encourage bringing those ideas to fruition, and in the summer of 2009, he connected with the national staff of the Startup Weekend organization of Seattle, Washington. Together, they put on the first Startup Weekend Des Moines last July.
“I’ve met a lot of people in Des Moines with great ideas for new businesses, but few seem to take action. After hearing about the success of the Kansas City event, I recognized that Des Moines could benefit from something similar. Startup Weekend Des Moines could be the catalyst to help people get their ideas off the ground and running,” Shane told me at the time.
The event went well enough that Startup Weekend’s staff asked him to facilitate additional events. In November, they sent him to New York City to put on Startup Weekend New York. In describing the differences between the two events, Shane said, “We had a lot more people in New York, over 100 participants, and we had a lot of media come by and hopefully this year in Des Moines we’ll get more media attention and more participants.” Shane continued, “I got to say that the people in Des Moines are just as passionate as the people in New York…I was impressed with the people that came to the Des Moines event and I was equally impressed by people in New York.”
Now, Shane is in the process of organizing two Midwestern events for March 2010. The first will be in Des Moines, the weekend of March 5-7 at Spindustry Interactive's offices in Clive and the second in Omaha at the Peter Kiewit Institute two weeks later.
One difference that Shane is working towards this year is attracting more software developers to the event. “We’re trying to make a push to reach out to local tech communities here in Des Moines, maybe some universities to try and get some computer science majors, or some local programmers, developers, coders, whatever they call themselves, out. I think a lot of developers have awesome ideas for new apps, new iPhone apps, new websites…they probably have a list of them in their journal but they’re not giving them attention because they have ten other projects that they’re working on or they need some marketing power behind that, they don’t have the right people or they just don’t have the time to get that up and running. This is an awesome opportunity for those guys to get out, push their ideas to the group and get something moving.”
View the interview below to learn more about the Startup Weekend process, what to expect from that event and how you can get involved.