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24. March 2017

A message from the Organizers of Startup Weekend Hamburg

When we first started the Startup Weekend Hamburg it was one of our first experiments to support our local startup ecosystem in Hamburg. Now after five years, many new initiatives are supporting the local ecosystem and a proud number of startups are founded through the Startup Weekend Hamburg we decided to change some things.We will still support aspiring entrepreneurs in getting closer towards their dreams and developing products out of ideas. We will not change the learnings aspiring entrepreneurs could get and also not the fun of the weekend.

There are quite a few reasons for the development of Start & Found:

#1 Autonomy

When we first started Startup Weekend it was a non-profit organization and we believed in the cause. Startup Weekend could support us with the infrastructure to build something amazing for our community. But now organizers are volunteers, who work for a for-profit VC & accelerator, just to support their marketing activities. Don´t get us wrong. We still love Techstars and Startup Weekend and we would still support people who are organizing Startup Weekends by facilitating or connecting with supporters. And of course if we meet interesting people we would still connect them with Techstars, if it could be a great fit for both sides. But our time is limited and we don´t think working for a for-profit as non-profit is a good way for us.

#2 Honorary work

We always organized our events without selling the event to one company. We always try to get partners, who don´t have a hidden agenda. After the acquisition of Startup Weekend by the Techstars Venture Capital Fond & Accelerator we don´t feel like we can still act in these interest. Even more: Some accelerator programs or VCs who were willing to join as mentors, judges, sponsors and partners are not sure if the event is still something they should join, because they feel like it´s a Marketing product of Techstars.

#3 Sustainability

Since the beginning of Startup Weekend Hamburg we tried to find a way to build and develop more sustainability in the event experience. Each year we tried different things and adjusted things we thought we could improve. We think we have now quite a few great ideas to achieve this goal.

#4 Change

With the binding to the brand we couldn’t change things within the concept of Startup Weekend, we think are necessary to a better and greater experience. In the next months we will announce some of these changes.If someone would ask us, if it´s a good idea to participate, organize or support a Startup Weekend, we would still recommend it. The main reason for that is that Startup Weekend is still a great experience and every country and city has a different taste. The people who invest their time to do these events are amazing and wonderful people. The community of Startup Weekend is awesome. But for our city we have to move forward and change some things.So if you would like to support our work in Hamburg and Germany reach out and organize the next Start & Found with us. Be a mentor or partner and let us do some new startups together!

Serhat Kaya
Serhat Kaya
Serhat Kaya is Founder & Managing Director at XPERIENTS – a digital communication agency in Hamburg. He is also one of the great minds behind the Start & Found. Additionally he is facilitating events around the globe. Formerly he worked in several digital companies like D-Level, Toptranslation and Hanse Ventures. Trained as IT-specialist and studied Business Psychology, he is passionate about startups and innovation.