Yesterday, I gave you several ideas about what I want to blog about first in connection to these last few months that I’ve been super busy. So many things have happened in almost all areas of my life and finally, I’ve decided to tell you first about the most exciting thing that ever happened to an introvert like me. It involved 3 days of out of comfort zone experiences, a chance to contribute big to the agricultural sector of our society, and the grand prize of flying to Singapore for more opportunities. This is Part 1 of that journey…
Last September 27-29, 2019, I attended the Techstars Bukidnon Startup Weekend for Women. I’ve always been on the lookout for things that will help me get out of my comfort zone as long as my extra time will permit it so when I saw their ad on FB, I was really thinking about joining it. I honestly have no idea what a “startup weekend” is. All I know is that I wanted to bring my Momtraneur business to the next level and the startup weekend could be the way. Women of various ages and backgrounds will be there, and it would be nice to get out of my home office, smell some fresh air in Bukidnon, and maybe make some new acquaintances and friends along the way. I thought it would be fun, and by that, I meant, socially and entrepreneurially fun.
So I paid the fee (P800) via paypal then I got this email:
To better prepare you for the event, here is what to expect on Friday morning:
What To Bring
• Laptop • Business Cards • Something to take notes on • A paper ticket is not required. Your name is on a list. • STUDENTS – Bring your student ID • Lots of energy
* With your Techstars Startup Weekend ticket comes some great discounts & perks to startup services you may find useful. Including:
* A free .CO domain. http://www.go.co/startupweekend/
* Access to the Google For Entrepreneurs partner network.
• You’ll receive links and redemption codes over the weekend, but it’s good to bookmark http://startupweekend.org/perks before the weekend.
* Pitches on Friday will be in a “pitch-fire” format, which means you will have just 60 seconds to get the audience interested in your idea. You will have no slides or props -just your voice. You won’t have time to go over features, so just focus on the core of the idea and make your enthusiasm contagious. Here is the format for pitches that we recommend:
* Who are you and what is your background? (5-10 Seconds)
* What is the problem that your product is solving? Or, begin with a story (10-20 Seconds)
* Explain the product and how it solves the problem (10-20 seconds)
* Who do you need on your team (a developer, marketing, designer?) (5-10 seconds)
* Finally, make up a name for your startup so the facilitator can give it a title
Voting & Forming Teams
After pitches, you will have more time to mingle. If you pitched an idea, this is your time to start recruiting others that may be interested in your idea. If you did not pitch, or if you are having trouble finding others to join your team, use this time to seek out those that pitched other ideas that you found interesting.
Next, the crowd votes on their favorite pitches. This is simply a way to encourage quick team forming. This is by no means an exclusive process and if you pitched an idea and it is not voted as one of the top ideas, you are more than welcome to work on it if you find some other people who want to work on the idea with you. From there we will form teams and these are the startup ideas that will be worked on over the weekend.
My heart started racing! What have I gotten myself into???!!! I thought it would just be like a “Connected Women” event, you know, a bit relaxed, fun, network with like-minded individuals, and sorta mingle-mingle type of thing. But noooo, “pitch fire” format? What is that??? OMG!!!
After panicking for a second, I composed myself, read the whole thing again and let the details sink in. At that point, I felt like a college freshman back in 1995, and by that I meant, it felt like I was once again on my very first day at the Ateneo de Manila University as an academic scholar forcing myself to put my best foot forward and bring everything I’ve got to maintain my scholarship, in other words, win this thing! “Hello, stress!” My prayer was answered alright! …Out of my comfort zone, indeed it was going to be!
So I started thinking about my pitch. Like I said, I’ve always wanted to bring my Momtraneur Online Services biz to the next level and maybe this will be the stepping stone.
So I prepared my pitch in my head, wrote some notes, booked us a hotel room for 3 days, and packed our bags.
The whole event was held at Robinson’s Place in Valencia, Bukidnon. I was there early on the first day and I secured my seat in front. I wanted to get the most out of this event. I can’t let my insecurities bring me down since most of the people I saw in there were students, there were also guys, and I felt like I was the oldest one in the group! Of course, I later found out that there were women like me who are already professionals and entrepreneurs as well so that made me feel a bit better.
The whole time I was waiting for people to arrive, I was thinking “When 40s is the new 20s… 😊😊😊 I’m attending the #StartupWeekendBukidnon from today until Sunday. I’m mostly with students and startup entrepreneurs. And it makes me ask myself what did I ever do in my 20’s? Bakit ngayon ko lang ginagawa ito??? Lol! And then I realized, I was also a part of women entrepreneurship in my 20s but I never really aggressively pursued it bcoz I wanted to enjoy life then and travel more. Now that I’ve done that for 2 decades, I feel like this is the time for me to fully explore my capabilities as an entrepreneur. “Dalaga ka na… hindi na bata…” ☺️☺️☺️ In whatever I do, to God be the glory! ❤❤❤” which I also posted on my FB that morning…
As the program started, I heard motivational speeches from the program director, David del Rosario of DICT Region 10, DTI MSME Head for Development in Bukidnon, Sir Junar Marla, and Streetby Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Cherry Anne Angoy.
They all gave us powerful speeches about the entrepreneurial landscape in our country particularly here in Bukidnon and in Mindanao. They all gave inspiring stories about startup companies that are now billion-dollar companies like Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Basically, they all gave us various ideas about what a startup is (which I never even thought of before) and that’s when it dawned on me that I can no longer pitch my current virtual assistant business because a startup needs to be something that is not yet registered and not yet being done; it must be an innovative idea; it needs to be in the idea stage at this point… can even be a eureka moment; and must have a technological component or must involve the internet of things (IOT) from what I understood.
That’s when I suddenly remembered something that Mahal and I have been talking on and off about for two years now. I felt goosebumps all over my body as the idea quickly came to life as if a lightbulb suddenly got switched on in my head! BuQid… BuQid… I heard a voice whisper this name in my head… and so I named my startup idea BuQid… This is the eureka moment Sir David was saying earlier! And I suddenly felt compelled to pitch this idea in this event!
Little did I know that this was where my sleepless nights would go full blast. I vented about it on my previous post, coz on top of being a mom to a 3-year-old, hyperactive child who turned 4 last month (and who never sleeps!), I’ve always been swamped with client work (which I thank God for coz that’s always been the main source of our income), plus I do marketing and financial stuff for our Tuscany Highlands biz, and of course, there are the neverending chores at home. We still choose not to get house help, I have yet to decide whether I should get my own virtual assistant coz I wanted to keep our overhead expenses as low as possible… so there… hustle, hustle, hustle, and even more hustling from then on.