ANCHORAGE - At Anchorage Startup Weekend, it all begins with one idea.
“The format is this,” said Franck Nouyrigat, one of the co-founders of the worldwide entrepreneurship workshop. “We start on Friday, and you can pitch and idea, and if many people like your idea they will join you on a team.”
Startup participants have three days to take their ideas from conception to production, including conducting preliminary market research and developing websites, mobile applications and business models, but the entrepreneurs behind the Anchorage event said it’s about the journey, not the destination.
“People are kind of raised and trained to think, ‘What’s my job going to be?’ instead of ‘What am I going to do?’” said Sioux-Z Marshall, a local businesswoman who helped bring the worldwide event to Anchorage this weekend.
She said the program teaches participants to think about business development differently, and even the posters hanging on the front doors of the East Anchorage office building where the event was held proclaimed “No talk, all action.”
As teams scrambled to put the finishing touches on their presentations Sunday afternoon, Ayla Rogers said her journey began Friday evening with an idea for a smartphone application that made different noises when it came into contact with different objects, “like a radar.”
“That turned into, kind of, well what if you could add sound to videos? More like a blooper.” Rogers said, sitting around a table littered with paper coffee cups and laptops with her teammates.
Their idea, now titled “Blooper App,” would allow users to add a range of sound effects to home videos, and Sunday evening they’ll present it to a panel of judges.
“After we get some feedback from them and kind of look at more of our market research results, then we’ll kind of see, is this company feasible.” Rogers said.
But no matter what happens to Blooper App, team members said the business skills they’ve picked up over the last three days are what really matter.
“My biggest take-away was just being able to work as a team,” Rogers said. “Being able to figure out different tasks and being able to see where my skill set really is.”
Three years after Nouyrigat became co-director of his own big idea, he said the Startup Weekend process boils down to one thing.
“Basically, the idea is something, but what’s very important is your ability to build a team,” he said. “You don’t want to be alone to build your business.”
It’s not about the concepts themselves, he said, but the people behind them.