Marco Santana

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If you are near a Startup Weekend: Just Do It.

If there is a Startup Weekend group near you, join it.

If there is a Startup Weekend event coming up, go to it.

The event is often a relaxed atmosphere during which several teams build a business in a weekend.

Now, some of the businesses stick around but most do not.

However, for a startup entrepreneur, it could provide valuable contacts within your local community for people who might help you build your awesome company in the future.

Or, perhaps you meet a programmer who becomes your ace.

Either way, jumping out and meeting the community is a key part of growing a startup in the early days.

If there is no ecosystem for startups in your community, I’d challenge you to start one, if possible.

That’s where many companies find mentors, first employees, critical feedback and potential clients.

Yes, some entrepreneurs build businesses on their own and that’s great, too.

But this post is for those just starting out who may not know where to go to find like-minded people in their community.

I have mentored at two Startup Weekend events.

In today’s world of journalists not sticking with their beats for too long, I’d argue that I probably have as much experience at Startup Weekends than any other journalist in the U.S.

It has become my favorite startup-related event because it’s basically a boot camp that forces entrepreneurs – or those who might some day become an entrepreneur – to cut out the fat.

They start with an idea, find a team to support that idea, build what they can and get feedback from potential customers in the community, all in three days.

Practice makes perfect, as they say.

So getting practice in building a business is critical.

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