October 17, 2013 at 10:51 am

Alum Says: Find a Team to Join at Startup Weekend

Daniel Williams and Sam Patt, co-founders of Lydria

Daniel Williams and Sam Patt, co-founders of

Daniel Williams went to Startup Weekend 2012 without an idea to pitch. He was looking for a team to join. He found it.

Williams majored in Plant Biology in Ohio University’s College of Arts & Sciences. He also minored in Computer Science and Chemistry and earned a certificate in Bioinformatics. While he originally thought about developing a method for analyzing automating metabolic pathways, that idea was too complicated.

“If you’re going to pitch a very technical, crazy idea, then you need to have a really good explanation for that idea. You can’t just pitch all the scientific words and expect an immediate following. I got a lot of blank stares, basically. So, I decided to come to Startup Weekend Athens, Ohio, and join another team,” Williams said in a Q&A interview.

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. Startup Weekend Athens is Oct. 18-20.

Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote), and then it’s a 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

“That’s why Startup Weekend is so great,” Williams said. “You don’t have to come prepared with an idea, you can just come to experience the entire process and join an existing team. For example, it’s really great for marketing students who want to promote an entrepreneurial team’s cause. It’s not just about the entrepreneurs; it’s about the whole team.”

Read more about Williams’ journey from Startup Weekend, participating in the Innovation Engine Accelerator over the summer, and his current venture–Anyvent.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups.

Cost: $50 for students; $99 for non-students.

More information and registration:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *