If you have not attended a StartUp Weekend I would highly advise it. It really doesn’t matter what line of work you are in, there will likely be a team that could use your help. The Event is November 18-20, 2011 and you can sign up here: http://houston.startupweekend.org/

What is it? A group of entrepreneurial minded people come together, pitch business ideas, team up and try to launch a company in a single weekend.

Last year I tried launching an app at Houston Startup Weekend and while it wasn’t completely with in the spirit of the competition I received invaluable feedback. It is still up at http://www.mindwallet.com if you want to check it out.

This year I’m bringing a raw idea to the table and hoping to recruit a team, build a mobile app, design some marketing material and launch the company in some capacity in one weekend. It is going to be a blast. It is gong to be snaphang.com unless someone helps me come up with another name. Follow the progress @snaphang.

I’m going to need:
Programmers(PhoneGap, MongoDb, JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, node.js)
Beta Testers
Art Lovers

If you aren’t attending and would like to be a guinea pig and maybe beta test our app, fill this out: http://t.co/1nTOSIN1

Beyond participating, I’ve decided to be a sponsor as well. I’m doing this because I truly believe that Houston has the talent and capacity to be a startup hub. We need more events like this and I’m really excited to be helping to support it. Helping start ups reach the minimum viable product is one of the expressed goals of RIVVIR Consulting and this is a great event to demonstrate out ability to do so.

The organization team should get a big pat on the back as well. Thanks to Sara Worthy, Brian Cohen, Javid Jamae, Jerald Reichstein, Katie Sunstrom, and Colleen Brady for making it happen.


In this article Paul Graham lays out the antidote to startup poison as “a high concentration of smart, driven people who are interested in entrepreneurship and technology [where] the likelihood of bumping into someone who can help you increases drastically.

If you read the article Paul states that he thinks Silicon Valley is so far ahead that the only way New York could ever catch up is if Silicon Valley starts to fail, which it isn’t doing. So if New York is in such dire straights, where does that leave Houston?

I’m afraid we’re not in a very good position to succeed as a ‘startup hub.’ Since achieving ‘startup hub’ status is a long term proposition, what are some steps we can take to position ourselves well. We need to become known in these startup hubs. How do we do this? We need to connect with the established hubs and let them know that we are a valuable resource. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Attend Conferences – This is expensive but necessary. We need to be in Silicon Valley. This certainly isn’t something that many of us can just jump up an do, but maybe we can find some cost savings solutions. That leads me to number 2.

2. StartUp Bus like initiatives for conferences – I’m not sure if you’ve heard of the startup bus, but it is kind of like a startup weekend on wheels. A bunch of hackers hop on a bus and 3 days later they have created mvps and arrive at SxSW for the conference.

3. Contribute to open source initiatives – I mentioned this in my 5 part series on Hacking Houston. This is one piece of low hanging fruit that we can take advantage of.

Let’s brainstorm. What are some other ways we can connect ourselves to the Valley?