SW Bogotá English: We Got Prizes!


Startup Weekend events are not mainly about prizes or awards. Above all, SWs were created with the goal of providing a positive and hands-on learning environment, of connecting like-minded persons and of contributing to the entrepreneurship communities throughout the world. These are by far the main reasons why we, as volunteer organizers, assume the –difficult, challenging and sometimes almost heroic– task of organizing these events.

Like a fellow organizer candidly said during the global Startup Weekend Organizers’ Summit that took place in Rio de Janeiro early this year: “I hate organizing events but I love Startup Weekends!”

In spite of a prize not being the ultimate goal of a SW, any new endeavor or enterprise needs all the help, mentoring and assistance that it can get. As organizers, we are well aware of this and we try to do our best to find some opportunities for –at least– the winner and other outstanding teams, of each and every Startup Weekend event.

Case in point: The team of “Mensajeros Urbanos,” the winner of the last SW that was held in Bogotá in April of 2013, had the opportunity to pitch for investors who came to Colombia to attend Startup Labs – which, by the way, is an initiative by former leaders of the Startup Weekend organization that aims to promote angel investment in developing countries. This presentation by “Mensajeros Urbanos” eventually led to an offer by Wayra Colombia to enter its prestigious acceleration program.

Let’s get to business…

For the Startup Weekend Bogotá English Edition, we have these amazing prizes:

Matt Rogers, a communications expert who will be a mentor at the event, will give a total of 5 hours of consulting focusing on storytelling, clarifying the message, organic strategy and competitive advantage. This prize will go to the winning team.

Elbis Bonilla, SW Bogotá co-organizer and a very talented, experienced and creative graphic designer, will design the logo of the winning team’s project or startup, and will also provide them with a mini-handbook of corporate image. This prize will also go to the winning team. If the winning team has a designer and doesn’t need the logo design, this can be substituted for 5 hours of consulting by Elbis, or – if the team does not require this, either – the prize will go to a finalist.

Thanks to T.C. Meggs, who is based in New York City and who reached out to several of his contacts in the U.S., the following persons will provide half an hour of mentoring (each) via Google Hangout:

  • Colin Nagy. He is the Executive Director of Media at The Barbarian Group. In this role, he leads a team that provides client counsel at the intersection of creativity, public relations, social media, paid media and emerging platforms. He was recently ranked #1 most creative person in social media marketing by Business Insider: http://read.bi/16wWyzH
  • Sam Valenti IV. Sam is the founder of Ghostly International, home to two of America’s finest independent record labels, Ghostly and Spectral Sound. Valenti grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, fascinated by the city’s musical transition from Motown to techno. He picked up his first pair of decks at the age of 15, adopted the moniker DJ Spaceghost, and began tutelage under some of D-town’s most respected DJs. Sam recently started a new venture, Drip.fm, with Miguel Senquiz. It is a subscription-model engagement platform for labels and artists. You can read about it further on The Next Web: http://tnw.co/JqvFUh

We are still deciding which team(s) will receive the mentoring sessions with Allison Mooney, Sam Valenti and Colin Nagy. We may create different award categories that are compatible with the expertise of these mentors. We will let you know about this during the event.

Last but not least, John Freddy Vega, one of the mentors of the event and the co-founder of Mejorando.la, a learning platform that helps people create for the web, will offer an online course, free of charge, at Mejorando.la to each of the members of the winning team.