Archive for November, 2010

How the “Power of Yalla” got 34 Startups launched in one Weekend!

The Weekend of 12/11/10 was one to remember! More than 250 participants came from all around the Arab world came to Lebanon for a highly intense 3 days of coding, networking, fun and most importantly of action!

Friday afternoon the first “Geeks on Bus” arrived at Berytech from Syria. Crowds were pouring in from all over. We had people from Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Jordan, Palestine, USA, Canada, just to name a few of the countries represented. Energy was mounting to get started, but we were waiting for our Jordanian “Geeks on a Bus” to arrive. The driver got lost, but they eventually got there. Gotta love Beirut traffic. When our Jordanian friends arrived, we were ready to get started.

The goal of the first day was to get people organized into teams. The stage was open for anyone to pitch their idea in 60 seconds. After an intense compressed session, over 60 ideas were presented. Now the task was to identify the best ideas that will get traction for teams to form around. So we did it Bazaar style where each participant had two votes to cast for an idea using plain old post-it notes. It was fun to see everyone selling their ideas to others, which is really something that also happens in real life during the early stages of a startup. People gravitated towards 35 ideas and now the wheels were set in motion to take that idea and build a prototype to pitch in 2 days.

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Hitler Sucks, MENA Startups Rock!

Remember how Hitler first reacted when he heard about YallaStartup Weekend ? Well wait until you see what he said when he heard about the 30+ mind blowing startups that were formed at the weekend!

Hitler Sucks, MENA Startups Rock! YallaStartup Weekend from YallaStartup on Vimeo.

Yea that’s right, MENA wins Global Startup Battle!

YallaStartup Weekend is one Weekend to remember, it was our first but certainly not our last! The amount of energy passion and talent was unbelievable, more than 200 people showed on up on Friday to pitch ideas and form teams. Teams got formed with people from various skills backgrounds but most importantly various nationalities. The weekend ended on Sunday evening with more than 30 startups created in just 2 days! Yes, it was an intense high energy but fun and productive Weekend!

We will write other posts summarizing the event and list all the amazing startups but first we want to share that WE WON GLOBAL STARTUP BATTLE!

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Arabic poem for YallaStartup Weekend

This is a poem that was written by Ala Suleiman for YallaStartup Weekend!

Enjoy!

قالولي ليش إنت مكركب
قلتلهم رايح عـ yallastatup

شلة مبرمجين
Geeks ومصممين
بدهم لحمة بعجين
… وعطول أكل مرتب

وقلتلهم رايح عـ yallastatup

من أردن سوريا ولبنان
رايحين انملي المكان
لا تقلولي انك نعسان
… فريقك لازم يكسب

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How to get the most out of StartupWeekend

by Eric Koester

I’ve often heard the phrase “You get out of something what you put into it.”  And in most cases, that is true — if you put in some time, some energy and some effort you’ll get an equal amount back out of it.  With Startup Weekend, that phrase also applies — it’s just that you’ll get 5 times more out versus what you put into it.

I’ve had the opportunity to attend a half dozen StartupWeekends.  Some weekends have been a fun chance to meet people; some weekends have been a chance to build something cool; some weekends have been the opportunity to challenge myself to learn something new; and some weekends have left me with more to think about than at the start of the weekend.  But in each case, I consistently got much more out of the weekend than I put into it.

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Jumpstart the weekend with cloud platforms

by Ryan Murray

Every startup is looking to get their business idea to market as fast as possible.  Startup weekends are a great way to push that goal to limit.  But with the objective of getting an application actually working in those 54 weekend hours, developers in particular have a hard task in front of them.  However, the minimal infrastructure needed for the weekend is nothing compared to what is need to manage and maintain a working app over the long haul.  And the goal of all the startup weekend teams will be to have their app running long after the weekend is over!

Cloud platforms offer a particularly enticing solution to startups in this regard.  Provisioning time and configuration are reduced dramatically. And many cloud services are free for small apps that don’t consume a lot of resources.  Here’s a quick review of some cloud providers that can help bootstrap your YallaStartupWeekend apps fast.
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Get your pitch ready! Advice from the Founder’s Institute

In preparation for YallaStartup Weekend here is a great video on how to get your pitch ready! Be sure to watch it!

Hop on the “Geeks on a Bus” to YallaStartup Weekend!

As we promised a few weeks ago we are going to be chartering free “Geeks on a Bus” rides from Amman and Damascus to YallaStartup Weekend in Lebanon. Many thanks to our friends at Meydan for generously sponsoring the bus from Jordan!

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Middle Eastern Startups, Are You Ready to Battle against San Francisco, Tokyo and 21 more cities?

Are you ready to compete against startups from San Francisco, Boston, Sao Palo… Startup Weekend just announced the first “Global Startup Battle,” to challenge and inspire entrepreneurs from around the world during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Global Startup Battle will tie teams from over twenty StartupWeekend events taking place during Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 12-21) in cities around the world from San Francisco to Sao Paulo, from Boston to Beirut and beyond. The winning team from each event will have 24 hours to create a 90-second video pitch that highlights their freshly-launched product or service. Viewers from around the world will then be invited to view the video pitches and vote for their favorite concept. The winners will take home an assortment of cash and prizes from partners and one-on-one time with a celebrity venture capitalist or angel investor.

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