Everything went great for the 10th edition of Techstars Startup Weekend Réunion! We welcomed 120 highly motivated participants with some very inspirational projects! 47 ideas were pitched with, as usual, a huge variety of projects – from renewable energy, special pastries, food apps to a new generation of coffins! 12 projects were selected and pitched to our jury. Needless to say, they had a tough time selecting the winners.
Our first Techstars Startup Weekend took place in 2011 in St Denis, the capital of Réunion Island. Right from the off, we built a long term partnership with a local incubator which strongly promoted us, both through their media and notoriety and through financial support. We found 10 coaches who really added value to the first projects. Then we had the chance to quickly welcome successful entrepreneurs who built nice and visible startups. Thus media were attracted, together with new sponsors, including telcos, bank and local authorities. Techstars Startup Weekend events quickly became the flagship event for ‘to be’ startups in Reunion.
We also got early support from the Techstars Startup Weekend team who initially came to help us organise our first events, so it was an instant success. Now, Techstars Startup Weekend is well renowned in Réunion. Our participants get a lot of traction after the event. Students and participants mention it in their resumes and it gives them a very nice story to tell!
We always have amazing sponsors who strongly promote the event, insightful coaches, prestigious jury involving known individuals here in Réunion, we also have good prizes, we fight to get fresh news from our success stories’ startups to keep ‘light’ on them.
One advise: do what you can to have one or two success stories as quickly as possible and media, sponsors and participants will flow. This is a virtuous circle which starts with a reliable sponsor + a quick win ie a successful startup with high visibility.
We are organising two events per year which is already quite a lot of work… and fun of course! Still we have short-term plans to launch a third Techstars Startup Weekend per year, focusing on a particular vertical, probably centring around culture (art, music etc) or social impact. Thanks to everyone who has made the 10th edition of Techstars Startup Weekend Réunion possible! Check out the recap video here.
If you want to organize a Techstars Startup Program, contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org