Sync the City is a 54 hour startup event, where individuals pitch ideas and the final 10 pitchers then get to pick a team and build that idea into a launchable startup! Sync Norwich (the organisers) compare this to a combination of an episode of The Apprentice and an episode of Dragon’s Den… I’m inclined to agree.
I decided to sign up because I’d heard such great things from colleagues of mine who had taken part in the past. Katie had been part of the winning team in 2018 and had used her winnings to buy a puppy, what more motivation do you need?!
I was excited to try something new and to push myself out of my comfort zone. I did pitch a solution to a problem I have daily but unfortunately this year it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe 2020 will be my year…
Even though my idea didn’t get to the final 10, it was still an amazing experience and I still learnt so much.
Thinking of taking part in 2020? Here are 5 of my tips on how to survive StC and how to get the most out of the process.
#1 Coffee is key
Need I say more?
#2 A great team can make anything happen
I was incredibly lucky to be part of the team I was. Not only were they passionate, clever and talented humans but they were determined and so kind at the same time!
Without them, it wouldn’t have been the same, and I can’t thank them enough for making my Sync the City experience as great as it was.
#3 An amazing idea can come from anyone and everyone
You don’t have to be in the tech industry to come up with an idea that’s viable with great potential.
This is a principle we use a lot here at The User Story, ideas don’t just come from designer brains. More brains = more ideas. Three of us sketched out the rough wireframes for our product and even then, we still had input from the rest of the team. No one person can think of everything and you can always rely on your team to remind you of bits you may not have considered.
#4 The one-minute pitches were a great way to kick off the event
To hear 32 (33 if you include my own) great ideas on Thursday evening really got me in the spirit. It was amazing to hear all these things people had thought up, and it was even better to see such a wide range of topics. From sports to maths revision and even an idea for making a Netflix for conferences! (That last one is actually the brainchild of our fantastic Kate Portman.)
#5 A 6:30am training session the day after Sync the City ends is an incorrect choice
Now, this may seem obvious to everyone, but clearly, my brain was not on the same wavelength. After getting home and into bed at around 1am, I was up at 6:15am to get to a 4.5ish hour rowing training session.
How did I know it wasn’t a good idea? I crashed into a tree at roughly 7:30am!