This year, I am taking serious steps to become an entrepreneur. I started an online store this year, cebue-tindahan.com (I hope you can visit it.). I involve myself in being an insurance agent to learn more about wealth management. The real estate development in Cebu is also exciting that I also went through seminars to become a knowledgeable property consultant, and learn more about the industry along the way.
But after all these, I feel that there's a lot for me to learn about entrepreneurship. Then a friend invited me to Cebu StartUp Weekend 5. I was hesitant at first, but I am very happy that I went for it.
It was a very mentally / emotionally / socially challenging and uplifting experience. I’ll share to you my wonderful experienced regarding the event, last June 5 to 7, 2015.
1st Day, Registration and Welcome(June 5):
I arrived 6pm at UP Lahug (the venue), I got my ID and greeted some old friends there.
I saw Rachelle, Mark Buenconsejo(one of the judges), and Rose Buenconsejo.
The night started with introduction and a dinner. It was a chance for me to meet new friends: some are programmer, designer, entrepreneur and student. The energy level was so high as everyone was excited of what will happen next.
It’s pitch time!
Now it’s time to go to the main reason why we are here. Many of us joined because we had an idea that can help everyone, and possibly be turned into a business. We were given 2 minutes to pitch our idea in front: discuss the problem and then solution.
The idea that I pitched was to create an app (software application) where one can apply there for part-time: such as part-time yaya, tubero, electrician, encoder, tutor. Your friends can recommend you. Users can search your name and can contact you directly.
Unluckily, my pitch was not voted. So I joined another group whose idea was to link farmers to consumers directly. Together with the group, we need to develop a business plan, and if possible, the product (or even a prototype) within the duration of the StartUp Weekend (which is around 56 hours). It should be compelling as at the end of the weekend, it would go through a scrutiny of different judges.
My groupmates where: Robin Moisson(Team Leader), Arthur Bagalacsa, Dylan Clear, Pierre Dewas, Miriam Grundig, John Re Mugar and Me.
2nd Day, Building the idea:
I arrived 9am there, ate my breakfast which was served at the venue. The Cebu City LGU was kind enough to sponsor the food of the event.
After getting settled, our group got together to discuss on how to "attack" the challenge we had. Then, tasks were delegated to each member.
I was assigned to contact as many farmers as I can. And, all the farmers I got in touch with were excited with this project. They said that the would be willing to advertise with us, as it could get them a new stream of clients.
Late in the evening, we decided to continue our work in Dylan’s office in Crown 7, Mabolo. There, we got a chance to see their super speedo internet connection. Dylan is an engineer of this company that he do the maintenance and set-up of this monster internet server.
My 2nd day ended at 1:30AM.
3rd Day, Judging Time:
We gathered again for the last time in UP to present our idea to the judges. Before that, we finalized everything: from presentation down to what data we would present. Everyone was busy, especially Robin. He was going to present the finished product that we came up with. In a way, he would convince the judges that Fresh Connexion was the best business among the rest. The best idea would get a chance to be supported with government or a private sector will finance it or buy your idea. They were just there in the room listening.
Before the official "judgment time," to eliminate the very high anxiety at the venue, we had a game. The team leader of each group was called to pick a paper which contained a song that we were going to dance in front. Our dance performance choreography consisted of making a circle with Dylan in the center, like a tribal dance. When it is in the chorus part, we just dance the funky Panda Dance (Dylan made this move famous). It helped a lot to eliminate the nervousness.
Our team was the first one to pitch in the front. Each team was given 5 minutes to pitch the business / product. The after the 5-minute pitch, the whole team then gathered up in stage for the Q&A. The judges would threw questions to us.
After that I congratulate Robin for his good team leadership. He able to defend this idea and give a shot on it. He is not from the Philippines and our culture in here is different from Paris. I know his passion, is to help us Filipinos, farmers in our country is the poorest industry, some countries value their farmers, they get a good cut in terms of government budget. They have a good facility and benefits. I think we Filipinos should value our farmers too. I believe that Robins idea will be heard someday and farmers will be empowered soon. Without them we have no food in our table.
After the event, we had a party at the Politics. It was a great way to end the experience. I got a chance to talk with Christine, Xavier, Rachel, Emma and Marvin. They are pretty awesome people there.
It was a such an enriching experience -- seeing different nationalities gathered in one event, pitch there idea and create a group to formulate a business. The essence of this activity also is, how you work in a group. Team work is really the key to achieve your goal in this activity.
Next StartUp Weekend, I’m pretty sure that I will join again. I am starting to write my ideas everyday in my journal. Who knows one of that idea will be pitch in next Startup Weekend. There will be a Geeks on a Beach this coming August 20-21 in Boracay Philippines, they are doing a discounts for today!
You can check my pictures through my facebook account>>>