Monday, November 12, 2012

Fabulously Fashionable StartUp Weekend Ottawa

When I strolled into Shopify last Friday for the first day of Startup Weekend Ottawa I expected to come out of this adventure with many things. I expected to meet some cool techy people, to learn a heck of a lot in a small time frame, and to further my start-up idea. What I did NOT expect was to walk away from this experience with was a blog post.

 If you are reading this right now you are probably well aware of the usual content of my blog. It is a fashion/style based blog, and although that is a large part of who I am, I didn't think it would have anything to do with my experience at Startup Weekend. To my pleasant surprise, two of the final projects were actually fashion related. I predict that Trade Avenu will be the new go-to guide for personal shopping. This startup was the creation of Van Tran, and their motive was to connect people who love to shop with people who hate it. Upon entering the website you have the chance to choose whether you love to shop, or whether you hate it. If you are a shopaholic like myself, you may have just found your very own little piece of heaven-shopping with other people's money while making money! Sounds fab to me! If you are a guy who would actually rather sit back and relax and pay the extra few bucks to have someone do the shopping for you, this site is for you as well. Trade Avenu even recruited their very first customer before the weekend was over! Mentor Andrew Draper actually took Trade Avenu for a test drive and recruited Van to pick up a hoodie for him.

My Style Guide was the brain child of Aqeela Somani. It is basically an interactive online closet where you can put outfits together, find inspiration and receive suggestions on what to wear. Users can search for specific items, looks or even just ideas.

Other non-fashion ideas to be on the look out for, including the winner of the whole event, Tattoo Hero, are: CounterBuy, PreggoPager and And...Perfect!.

Overall, Startup weekend was a fantastic and surprisingly stylish event. The girl to guy ratio was not as low as expected, the food was delectable and the venue perfect. Teams were formed, ideas turned into realities, and memories were made.

Flowers from the bf the next day. Awwww 

I could sit here and spill every detail of the weekend, but in all honesty, I'm tired. We just worked for 54 hours and now I'm suffering post Startup Weekend withdrawal. The best advice I can give is to just go and participate in one. Startup Weekends are held around the globe so you have no excuse. This type of experience can't be relived, retold or recreated. You have to experience it for yourself and I promise you won't regret it. Yes, even you fashionistas. Any doubts you have in your mind, get rid of them. There is no room for that at Startup Weekend. No matter who you are, there IS a place for you. The experience is invaluable if not solely for the networking opportunities. I met people, developers, designers, etc who I usually would NEVER meet. Not because they aren't good people, but simply due to the fact that our paths don't cross. After this weekend, I really hope our paths cross a little more often. 
I leave you all with just one word: #hustle

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