I judged Lean Startup Machine Boulder yesterday afternoon. I had a blast and thought the program was really impressive. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into and usually protect my weekends pretty aggressively from stuff like this so I can spend time with Amy and recover / catch up from the week but for some reason Trevor Owens (Lean Startup Machine CEO) and Ray Wu convinced me to come out and play.
I’m a huge Eric Ries / Lean Startup fan and believe that the methodology can be quickly taught. What I saw yesterday is further evidence of this – 13 teams spent from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon using the Lean Startup Methodology, the concept of customer development, and the lean startup canvas to go from idea through a series of validated learnings to get to a better idea. It’s not a coding / hacking weekend – it’s an applied process of the Lean Startup Methodology.
The event took place in the Scrib co-working space in downtown Boulder. I hadn’t been there yet so it was a good chance to meet the founders of Scrib, see the space in use, and get a sense of the energy. It was excellent and I expect Scrib will be a great contribution to the Boulder Startup Community for a long time to come.
After we saw 5 minute presentations from each team, the judges sequestered for a while and came up with first and second place. The winner of Lean Startup Machine Boulder was I Want My Bike Back and second place went to Dig Rentals. We came up with fun awards for all of the other teams and there was no doubt in my mind that it was a useful event for everyone.
Lean Startup Machine has a goal of doing 50 events in 2012 and 200 events in 2013. The next ones are in San Francisco (5/25), Toronto (6/8), Rotterdam (Netherlands – 6/8), Los Angeles (6/15), Boston (6/15), and Seattle (6/29). If you are in any of these cities, I encourage you to check it out.