Why getting pissed off at Startup Weekend turned out to be a good thing for me

When one of Startup Weekend’s local reps asked me to lead a week-long master class to build on their New York event I was psyched. When after weeks of planning and work on the content the event fell apart days before delivery I was pissed. So I did the only thing I could do at the time — I channeled that energy into something positive and wound up running an intense 3-month startup bootcamp in Hong Kong.

Don’t get me wrong — I like Startup Weekend. I’ve even mentored for them. Their event is great. But after the course they asked me to do fell apart (never to return elsewhere) I happened to visit Hong Kong, a place I used to work. I thought about how I could turn the Startup Weekend event into something positive and so I looked up their local judges and mentors.

What followed was incredible. Each person I met introduced me to another two. I spoke at two events on customer development and startup case studies. I had conversations with people in entrepreneurship departments at three universities. I met many of the Startup Weekend participants, including the winners of the last global battle. (That’s right, Hong Kong produced Startup Weekend global battle winner AfterShip.) There was clearly a tightly-connected startup community in Hong Kong ready to grow more.

The discussions continued after I returned to NYC. More emails, calls and a 3-month plan later we had the starting point in the form of the bootcamp, which will start in July. I’m thankful for so many quality people in Hong Kong that helped get this off the ground. It’s the first program of its type in Hong Kong and I’m excited to help make it happen. And I’m happy to be able to contribute my own experiences running a startup in the past, teaching founders and working in Asia.

So when you find an opportunity disappear, maybe you can turn it into a new one.

I’ll continue to blog form here about the bootcamp and what we learn while running it.

Filed in: startup programs