I (Steven) love coaching and mentoring starting companies or ‘startups’. Whether I can help with marketing and communication, creating a great pitch, the formulation of a viable value model or just presentations and videos to help spread the word, I just get excited about people trying new things and turning that into a project / company. And I was really afraid that this one of the things I had to give up for our traveling lifestyle. Luckily, it turns out I was wrong.
Thanks to many newfound friends in Mexico I have been able to continue this passion for startups overseas as well. My dear friend Oscar Velazquez truly opened the door to the vibrating startup community in Mexico (City). He invited me more than once to be part of workshops, events and presentations and enabled me to share what I knew about starting a new company. And for that I am most thankful (carnal)!
Quickly after having visited a couple of these events in Mexico City, I was invited to be a mentor for a very inspiring and world changing initiative called Startup Weekend. Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch new companies. This is a type of event that is organised throughout the world and every weekend on various locations world wide, new projects are being born and new companies are formed. The beauty of Startup Weekend is that the entire organisation is made up out of volunteers. No money is being made and everybody involved is doing this out of pure passion for the spirit of entrepreneurship. Exactly my line of thinking!
Last November I was fortunate to visit three Startup Weekends in Mexico (in Merida, Cancun and Colima) and help out as a mentor / photographer. It is so inspiring to see a new generation of Mexican entrepreneurs making their journey towards successful but also valuable companies. And to feel that your contribution, even when it has only a small impact, is helping them get there faster, better and with more confidence is very rewarding. Because I am (still) not a native Spanish speaker I would like to express my gratitude here to Julio, Moises, Juan Pablo, Rocio, Javier and Mak and all the others for allowing me to grow my skills during these beautiful weekends with your help and confidence, thank you!
If you have never participated in a Startup Weekend I would highly encourage you to do so. The amount of things you will learn about entrepreneurship, constructing a team, the effects of leadership but most importantly about yourself and the power you have within you is endless. Even after having been a mentor in more than twelve Startup Weekends it is still not tiring:) Find a Startup Weekend close to you on startupweekend.org and dive in! I have included some pictures of my last three weekends in Mexico to give you an impression! Let me know what you think?