Startup Weekend Fukuoka x Taipei

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Startup Weekend Fukuoka x Taipei took place on October 31, 2014. In this edition of Startup Weekend, two events were held simultaneously in Taipei and Fukuoka. During this 54-hour event which was broadcasted live in both cities, attendees from each city could communicate and share ideas with each other allowing them an international perspective. 

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A Taiwanese team sharing ideas with a Japanese team via web cam

I had the privilege of working with the Startup Weekend Taipei team since Nulab and iiiNNO were the main organizers of this event. We first started with numerous publicity campaigns in different cities in Taiwan to promote the event. Since the theme of the event was ” Smart Living x elderly lives”, David, the main organizer from the Taipei side, invited many government organizations associated with this topic to share some of the pressing issues that the elderly are currently facing. We received a lot of positive feedback on this and nearly 60 attendees signed up.

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Taipei attendees at the main hall of Futureward

On Friday night, attendees pitched their ideas and inspired others to join their teams. Over Saturday and Sunday, the teams focused on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing lean startup methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening, we had a total of nine Taiwanese teams and one Japanese team to demonstrate their prototypes in front of a panel of experts from Taiwan and Japan. The Taiwanese team, Silverskill, won the judges’ hearts and got a chance to present at the Mashup Awards and also received a free ticket to Japan. Silverskill’s startup idea is to build a “give and exchange” platform which will enable elderly people to offer their experiences and valuable advice to the younger generations. In second place, we have the team from iWalk, who developed a prototype for support braces that will lend help to patients suffering from osteoarthritis. ACKB was in the third place with their offering of a one-stop health care website for elderly people.

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Silverskill’s demo website

 

As expected, the attendees encountered many problems and difficulties throughout this 54-hour event. There were certainly a lot of tears, doubts, and frustrations in the process of building their startups. The event gave the attendees a true experience of the startup world and a real taste of the entrepreneurial hardships they would encounter in future. It is certainly one of the most interesting and relevant events for new startup entrepreneurs that I have been involved in. 

Finally, here’s a big thank you to all sponsors, media friends and volunteers. Also, good luck to all Startup Weekend attendees in their endeavors!

 

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