“Pitch Friday, Work
Saturday, Launch Sunday.”
That’s the theme and
schedule for Startup Weekend Fort Worth, a 54-hour competition dedicated to fostering new business ideas while
strengthening the Fort Worth entrepreneurial community.
People of all ages and
backgrounds from across Fort Worth pitched their business ideas on Friday and
voted on the best ones to move forward in the competition. Participants then
chose which idea they wanted to team with, formalized their team, inventoried
skills and worked until midnight.
Austin Ngo was the only
TCU student on his team. The youngest member was 17. They also had a web
programmer and a fashion designer.
The teams met again
Saturday to work from 8:30 a.m. till midnight on their ideas. Sunday, they
received coaching and prepped for their presentations. The weekend ended with
final pitches at WeWork Clearfork, followed by dinner and awards.
Ngo’s team won with an
idea for BirdSnest, an e-commerce platform for eco-friendly products and
Ngo called upon the teamwork and leadership skills he is
learning in the BNSF Neeley Leadership program to motivate his team and keep
“My leadership style is relationship building, but I’ve
really only used it around other Vietnamese students and leadership students. I
used it here and it actually worked,” he said.
At first everyone on the team was focused on their own
“I used the skills I’ve learned to step back, watch,
analyze personalities, and then interact, build relationships, listen and keep
the team together,” he said.
Ngo, an accounting major, also learned more about
“Entrepreneurship people are so willing to assist.
Everyone at the competition was always asking if they could help. It was very
supportive and motivating,” he said.
The top teams won office space and business services for
three months at Ensemble Coworking, to help them see their visions into