Click here If you don’t know what a Startup Weekend is.
We are sponsoring Startup Weekend Chicago this weekend, and I’m super excited because I get to go!
I’ve been to a few in the past year, and I complied a list of helpful tips so you can get the most out of your fun-filled weekend. 54 hours is not a lot of time to launch a startup. Work Efficiently.
Remember, there’s an API/Platform for almost everything. Here’s a list of some of the popular ones so you don’t have to go out searching.
Subtle Patterns: Need background images? Subtle patterns give you a gallery of very subtle patterns. High Quality, and open sourced!
Cheat Sheets: Equip youself with HTML/CSS cheatsheets! Scan all the tags at once and see which one fits your needs!
Free Icons: Because Icons make your site beautiful.
LiveRoad: A Great IDE for design is very helpful. It’s helpful to find an developer tool that allows you to write html/css and renders the view in real time, so you don’t have to change -> save -> go to browser -> refresh.
Social Buttons: Want to add Twitter, Facebook, Google, buttons? Get them here.
Masonry: Create a pinterest like layout!
Cubism: Create TimeLine visualization of data.
Here’s the exciting part! Let’s talk about tools and libraries that help you implement your Ideas faster:
Tokbox: That’s us! Use us to power any video chat applications (talkshow, education apps, collaboration, etc). We have an iOS SDK as well, for web-web, mobile-mobile, web-mobile video chat and video messaging.
Twilio: Need to call/txt get a phone number from your web/mobile application? Check them out.
Leaflet: Need Maps? Try Leaflet. Most devs go with google maps, but I personally like leaflet and I feel like it’s easier to use/develop with.
Rovi: Need Metadata for music/movie/actors, etc.? Rovi API has everything you need for information. Generate album/movie information on the fly!
Rdio: Want to add a music player on your website to play music? Rdio provides the music and the player via an API
Box: Need file storage (for physical files like mp3, flv, etc). Box API lets you store files dynamically!
Singly: Provides your app with your personal Data from foursquare, instagram, etc etc.
Sendgrid: Need to send email out to users? Use Sendgrid! They make sure that your emails never to go spam folders.
If you are a web developer, you don’t have time to learn iOS or Java during the weekend. It’s better to use what you know already.
Launchrock: Website is not ready? Put up a LaunchRock Page and get your marketing working right away. When your website is ready, you will have users already!
VoiceBunny: Need a sexy voice-over for your videos? Send it to VoiceBunny!
Compare Ninja: Own your competitors by creating a Comparison Table quickly!
Something you need to do but not on the list? Tweet at me bro!
Sinatra: Super easy to use, the only drawback is that you have to learn ruby setup your database. I hate configuring stuff, so I usually use this as an option if I don’t need persistant information.
Railscasts: If you’re not comfortable with rails, I wouldn’t recommend using it for the hackathon. It has a high learning curve. But if you insist, check out railscasts. Ryan Bates create screencast for just about everything you might want to do with a rails app.
Heroku: Deploy your app to heroku. It’s free, supports ruby, nodejs, static files, and a few other languages. Did I mention it’s free? You have nothing to loose.
PRACTICE! Unlike hackathons, Startup Weekend presentations should be polished. It’s perfectly okay to send one charming guy/girl to lead the whole presentation. Include a url at the end for everyone to play with, or put it in the beginning to walk people through during your presentation. Give yourself 1 hour before the presentation to practice!
I’m comming to Startup Weekend Chicago on June 1st, 2012? Come FIND ME!
Can’t make it to Chicago? Come Join me at HollyWood Hack Day on June 9th, 2012!
Not a hacker? I’m down for drinks too. Find me on Twitter.