Startup Weekend Gets a Push from Attivio

The strength of being in the Boston region lies in the tech community that surrounds us. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about a large organization like Rapid7, or the two-person startups that populate programs like MassChallenge, TechStars, and Greentown Labs. 

That’s why Attivio is taking part of the Grow With Google Startup Weekend event coming up on August 10. In fact, our CEO Stephen Baker will be one of the judges, and Attivio will host another event later this year.  

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The local engine behind Startup Weekend is our own Solution Architect Zuzana Giertlova. Two years ago, when she was just starting out in the world of artificial intelligence, she experienced her first Startup Weekend event in New York City in an effort to gain a bit more hands-on experience with some of the larger AI platforms. More than just an educational experience, she found herself part of a community, powered by ambition, restricted by time and working toward a common goal.  

"I walked away from this Startup Weekend thinking that this was the most useful learning experience thus far in my career, as I learned a lot about team dynamics, leadership, presentation, prototyping, Agile frameworks, product management, market research, comparative analysis and so on in a single weekend. Because the teams are generally fairly small, everyone has to wear many hats and thus gains hands-on experience in many areas over a few hours,” she said. 

It’s this blend of education, community, and passion that keeps her coming back and drove her to create a local version of Startup Weekend. The August 10 is sponsored by Grow with Google. Past events have looked to the Boston region’s strengths, focusing on such topics as blockchain and healthcare.  

While the event technically falls firmly into the “business” category, it’s the personal stories that stick in Zuzana’s mind. "My favorite moment at Startup Weekend so far has been when one of our participants brought in his wife and small children to watch his pitch. He was very passionate about the idea he was presenting and he wanted his family to watch his final pitch. Now he is a CEO of his own company, having turned down an exec position somewhere else.” 

Her favorite moment of every event comes right at the start, when, on Friday night, people pitch their ideas. Some are incredibly passionate and driven, with many taking their ideas from concept to reality regardless of success on that particular weekend. 

“Five startups that started at Startup Weekend in Boston have moved on to become actual companies, and my team and I cherish the fact that our event was what pushed them to take that leap,” she said. “There is something incredibly rewarding in creating the environment that fosters other people’s creativity.” 

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