Startup Weekend From the Perspective of a Participant: Robert Blake


by Emily Reeves

Director of Digital Innovation and Insight Planning at Stone Ward

Follow Emily on Twitter @Reeves501.

Robert Blake

I conducted an email Q&A with Robert Blake, a participant in Startup Weekend Little Rock, to give us his perspective on Startup Weekends. You can follow Robert on Twitter @RobertBlake.

Why did you choose to participate in Startup Weekend Little Rock last April? Was it your first one, or had you done one before? What did you expect when you showed up on Friday night?

It was my first Startup Weekend and my friend Zack Hill encouraged me to come out and pitch an idea. I expected there to be some great pitches and everyone did a great job of pitching their ideas.

Did you plan on pitching an idea or was that a last minute decision? What did it feel like to get up in front of everyone and give your 60-second pitch? Any advice for those planning to pitch at NW Arkansas Startup Weekend?

Ever since I knew I was going to Startup Weekend I had an idea rolling around in my head. After I heard a few pitches I got up and waited in line to pitch. It was my first time giving a 60-second pitch and I was clearly an amatuer. There is a right cadence to a 60-second pitch and a Startup weekend pitch needs to include your problem, solution, and who you need to help you solve it.

Tell us a little bit about your Startup Weekend experience? What happened each day?

I joined team Sports Mob and we were trying to solve how an avid sports fan keeps up with multiple teams. First day we were surveying our social networks, developing an identity and nailing down a feature set.

What was the most memorable moment of Startup Weekend Little Rock for you?

I enjoyed connecting with Will Carter and Aaron Huntley who came down from Northwest Arkansas. Will shared his experience from the ARK Challenge and provided tips that helped us groom our final presentation on Sunday. Aaron just wrapped up pitching in front of investors. The small conversations that happen in between are what help build your team and product.

Why do you recommend people participate in Northwest Arkansas Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekend is a great way to learn and network with your peers. The experience and connections you take away is invaluable. You never know if what you work on during the weekend will lead to bigger opportunity.