SEP’s First Startup Weekend

August 19, 2011

By Carolynn Andrews, Business Intern
SEP hosted its first Startup Weekend, a concept pulled from Startup Weekend where individuals (in our case employees) brought product ideas and spent the weekend developing it.

The first night, 10 ideas were pitched.  The group voted on the 10 ideas, and spent an entire weekend together with the following results:

  • 3 teams
  • 17 people
  • 54 hours – 3 usable products

As we do on our client projects, standup meetings were done throughout the day, this allowed the teams to report on accomplishments and/or challenges they were facing.  Other teams could offer ideas if possible or even help if they felt they had the skill set needed to fix the problem.  Even though there were 3 separate teams, everyone met twice a day to have a group standup meeting.  This time was used to share status, issues, and achievements. “My favorite part of the weekend was being able to work with people that I normally do not have the chance to work with,” said Jon Fuller who helped start SEP’s Startup Weekend.

The teams made use of Twitter (#sepstartupweekend) to connect individuals in and out of the building, share funny quotes, and to do a little competitive trash talking.

On the final day, groups began putting together presentations and demos to show their products off to family members, colleagues, and managers.  Chris Atkinson, VP of Engineering, said, “It was really exciting to be in the midst of all of the technical horsepower and team energy devoted to building something new.  I was inspired!”

Each group set out with a mission to create a product by 6:00pm Sunday, and all were successful.  These groups demonstrated their ability to rise to the challenge of creating a product in one weekend, while learning new technologies and skills along the way.  Even with all of the hard work and concentration, everyone still h ad a good time with jokes, pranks, and lots of laughter.