Triangle Startup Weekend – EDU style. Finally a 2 day weekend with the first signs of spring weather. So after a full week of work inside away from the cold, what could be better than to put on a pair of shorts and log another 40 hours inside? To be fair – I was standing on the shoulders of giants and the view from up there was worth every second. And by standing, of course I mean that I was chilling inside of a super posh space, on a beanbag at @HUBRaleigh . As for these massive giants – were they scary? They were scary smart. These giants were my new found Triangle Startup Weekend @coursefork teammates, three of which I had never met until Friday night. One of them, Elliott Hauser @hauspoor came with a brilliant concept. He is an impressive, passionate educator at the University of North Carolina. You won’t get that sentence from me but once, ever. In fact, I just lost 20 years of Wolfpack street cred – so that tells you how impressive he is. After his pitch attracted two developers that seemed to gel immediately – it was like watching a jam session as they banged out and merged code.
Triangle Startup Weekend brings out familiar Triangle entrepreneurial giants every time, but this specific TSW was focused on education. The focus on that niche brought out additional giants from distant fee-fi-fo-fiefdoms for the event. Educators came from Raleigh, Durham, Chapel-Hill, and from counties throughout NC that I had never even heard of. Ok, I had heard of the counties, but that was a long time ago and I can blame my NC education for not making all 100 county names stick. (Too soon?)
Educators were not only there to provide subject matter input, they were there to pitch their startup *solutions* to problems they see firsthand. They brought passion from the daily front lines of helping students succeed. There were K-12 teachers, workshop builders, professors from UNC, NC State, Davidson, Duke, and even one from Western Michigan. There were students from as far as California, and there were NCState students, and many UNC students and graduates participating throughout the weekend too. (Let’s go Wolfpack family for TSW later this year!) These people were excited enough about the possibilities and potential for innovation in education that they were willing to drive many hours to an event to contribute. It was powerful to see roughly 1/3rd of a room filled with educators that were essentially risk-seeking investors. While they weren’t necessarily “VC” investors, there is no doubt that the investments they made were substantial. They seeded us all with inspiration and further recognition that we have some of the most amazing educators in the world here in NC – and especially here in the Triangle. I was left with little doubt that we have the ability to create innovative systems, processes, and tools to help these passionate educators and ultimately their students – thrive.
More on the weekend events coming soon…
Including more on our winning team of giants @coursefork – and a startup that is about to fork with your collective minds: