Start-Up stories: “What you won’t realize until it’s over is how much you’ve learned”


Startup Weekend Cambridge 2012 brought together people from diverse academic and professional background. Derrick Quandt, Cambridge MBA alumni who currently works with Rasberry Pi participated in Startup Weekend Cambridge, which was his  first exposure to the start-up community as a whole. Derrick remembers the weekend as an eye-opening challenge.


Derrick Q

I had always toyed with the idea of starting a business but what I hadn’t realized is how many tools, methods and other resources available to those interested in creating a new venture. My first thoughts during the weekend were, “wow, I’m so far behind I’ve never been exposed to any of this before.” My peers, coaches, and hosts were all familiar with a language that I’d never heard before. For many of you considering this activity, you’ll be familiar with pivoting, the business model canvas, failing fast, and so on. I wasn’t and learned these all (at least somewhat) between Friday and Saturday afternoon. Once you’re able to understand the basics, you realize that the coaching that you receive from that point onward becomes much more powerful. Take advantage of every mentor opportunity (even when you don’t think you have time for it.)

Startup Weekend is perfect for first-timers (like myself), those familiar with start-up concepts, and those that are quite experienced. The teams come together and begin to plan and deliver as much as possible within a few days. There will be fun, there will be stress, there will be progress and there will be struggle. What you won’t realize until it’s over is how much you’ve learned. Not just about the start-up process but also about how you operate in a team. Most of all you push your own boundaries and learn to leverage skill sets that others bring to the table. Bring an open mind, bring your ideas, and come prepared for a great opportunity. “