Startup Weekend launches a new way for volunteers to “hook up”

James Donnelly
(415) 287-4006

San Francisco, California – This is the real story of one hundred thirty-two strangers locked in a room with 58 ideas and made to pick one project.

The adrenaline-packed Startup Weekend has come to San Francisco in its experiment to gather the technology community to create a company over one weekend. The ten other weekends have been held in Colorado, New York, Boston, Toronto, Canada, Hamburg, Germany, and others.

“The experiment shows that community is important to creating a product. I hope this weekend creates a strong and vibrant community and also a compelling application,” said Andrew Hyde, who founded the Weekend project in 2007 by giving himself a small loan.

Hosted at the Microsoft office in downtown San Francisco, the Weekend shows that larger businesses look to startups for innovation said Anand Iyer, spokesperson for Microsoft.

“This is about how we can better engage in the community and strengthen our ties to technologists,” Iyer said. “We are close to Silicon Valley, the heart of startups and innovation, and we see the startup community as one was want to continue to engage with.”

In less than four hours, a community response Web site and social application, was chosen to help people connect to organizations and networks during disasters, emergencies or volunteer opportunities.
“A lot of people want to help, want to participate, but can’t or don’t know how,” said Waleed Abdulla, a software engineer from Redwood City. “At the same time there are organizations that need help, but aren’t getting help. This is what the web is about, connecting people.”

Developers, designers, business consultants, public relations teams all sit side by side in a room about the size of a lobby, furiously creating a product that will be launched by Sunday, Nov. 18 at midnight.

The fact that the team has chosen a product that has more social use than revenue potential is not surprising to Hyde who has seen hundreds of ideas pitched as businesses.

“It is something that happens every weekend — that people don’t pitch ideas that are cash cows. They pick these things they want to work on that will be beneficial to the community.”

While Hyde does not think these weekends are the future of the business world, they are part of the future.

“The relationships that are created here are what you need to watch out for.”

For further information, please visit The site offers a way to create a profile of your skills and organizations to volunteer with and sign up for mobile alerts.

Press Contact:
James Donnelly
(415) 287-4006


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