With just over a week to go before Startup Weekend arrives on Singapore’s shores, we caught up with The Athena Network‘s Managing Director, Gina Romero, to find out what all the fuss is about!
First, a few facts about Startup Weekend:
- Events have already been held in over 85 countries and over 320 cities around the world (so far, mostly USA, Canada and Europe)
- From 6.30pm on Friday (23rd November) to 9pm on Sunday (25th November) this is a 54 hour long event
- Startup Weekend Women’s Edition is the first one to be held in Singapore
- Over 100 women (and a few men!) will work in teams to work on creative business prototypes
- The event is run in collaboration with The Next Women and The Athena Network Singapore
Why is this edition for women?
Gina: “At the Athena Network we are really passionate about creating a platform where women have an opportunity to network with more women across a diverse range of industry sectors. Business networking tends to be a male dominated space and so by offering a platform where women can come together for collaboration and sharing knowledge and ideas brings a different dynamic to traditional mixed networking. Although our core networking platform at Athena is women led and focuses on female professionals and entrepreneurs we are not gender exclusive and we do run events that men can attend too!
“Startup weekend is a brilliant format and extremely successful globally but has a similar pattern of high numbers of male participants – with this edition of Startup Weekend, we are inviting as many ladies as possible to step up and get involved! Naturally, we are trying to be as inclusive as possible so men are welcome too. We are aiming for 60% female participation by headlining the event as a ‘women’s edition’.”
Why is technology such an important aspect for start ups?
Gina: “When I started my first business I had 2 children under 2. I was on a break from full time employment and I needed to supplement my income. I had no startup capital and no clue about running a business but I did have a huge amount of passion and a few good ideas. Technology is such a great enabler for startups and small business – having access to technology as a startup allowed me to even out the playing fields with larger businesses with more capital by having a good web presence.
“All I needed was a great platform to showcase my expertise and the ability to reach people from the comfort of my own home. As a mother it meant that I could build my business in between changing nappies, and looking after my children. It meant that I could be as professional as the company on the high street with a shop front or an office. The biggest struggle for women today is balance. We want to be successful, authentic and happy – why should we compromise?
“Technology enables us to get up and running with very little risk, it allows us to take the first step with the flexibility we need to work around our other responsibilities. It also gives us the ability to reach more people, do more research, gain more knowledge, profile our expertise and scale businesses in a way that was not possible without it. My love for technology is not about the hardware and software but the potential to connect people.
“Technology is all about creativity and productivity – and the freedom to do the things that we do best and the things that we enjoy most.”
What would you say to someone who wants to start a business but has no idea where to begin?
Gina: “If you have an idea – you just have to take the one step towards making it a reality. It doesn’t have to be a jump off the deep end or a huge risk. Start with the end in mind and work backwards from there. Take the first step – set a tangible, measurable goal and a realistic time frame and list a few actions you can get started with now.
What type of people is Startup Weekend for?
If you fit into one or more of these categories then this weekend is for you:
- You want to experience a startup environment
- You have an idea and want to get feedback and some different perspectives
- You have expertise and would like to share it with others
- You want different solutions for how to make your idea better/more scalable/more profitable
- You want to get creative or learn about the business startup methodology
- You have an existing business and you want to start a new venture
- You are looking for a co-founder or team or resources to start a business with
- You just want to come and join an action packed weekend and learn about starting up a business
Ready to join us?
This edition of Startup Weekend invites up to 100 ladies (and men) to bring their energy, ideas and creativity to build something big over the weekend. We provide the working space, brain fuel, food, mentors, new friends, and inspiring speakers and judges.
Date & Time: 6.30pm on Friday 23rd November to 9pm on Sunday 25th November
Price: $99 with the Athena priority code AthenaSGWSW
: The Hub Singapore
, National Youth Council Academy, 113 Somerset Road, Singapore 238165
Follow the buzz on Twitter: #SGWSW