Startup Weekend Interview

We are glad to present Annabelle Buffart’s participation to the Luxembourg’s Startup Weekend dedicated to the IoT. This event took place from June the 5th until June the 7th.

We interviewed her and she has many things to say about this year’s edition and how it feels like to be a woman it a usually male-oriented environment.

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GiT: Annabelle, could you please quickly introduce us to your team and the project you presented during the Startup WE?

A: Together with two friends, Sébastien et Florent, we created a team. We are all working in the development field.Our project was focusing on realizing an application for devices’ durability bills that you can find scanning a QR Code.

GiT: Could you briefly tell us how was the Startup WE went ? What were your expectations, what did you feel during this 3-days event?

A: The Startup WE was for us the occasion to strengthen bonds and cohesion inside the team and also to have new insights about the business world. Together we had all the technical competencies, but no notion of business. This was the real challenge. We had to rethink about the project a couple of times to better understand  the project’s practicability. To us, the hardest thing to create was the business plan (BMC). Thanks to the coaches present throughout the whole event, we could brainstorm on our idea to find answers to different types of questions such as :

– to which public should we aim?
– how are we going to be financed?
– what is the project’s viability?
– which needs are we answering to ?
– what is our problematic?

We finally got to present our project on Sunday, the event’s final day.
It is a very condensed weekend, we barely slept but we provided a huge amount of work. We had 54 hours to think about a project, which is in the everyday life not quite doable. It usually takes a lot more time.

Managing stress and tiredness is not an easy task… Respecting each other’s and not attacking each other in the team was a challenge due to our physical fatigue. Thanks to this weekend, we realized that we were a great team. We overcame the challenges brought to us and were proud to come up and develop  a project in such a small amount of time.

GiT: How did you feel about being a woman attending this event? What were your tasks, did you feel at ease?

A: I was the front developer and I was also in charge of communication. I clearly felt I was at the right place with my team, and at the Startup WE too. The Internet of Things is obviously a technical subject, but is shouldn’t mean women aren’t welcome, although the other women I met during the event were more marketing/business oriented.
I didn’t really feel any difference between men and women. I felt I was where I had to be, as much as the others. No matter our gender, nationality or competencies. I was a member of the Startup Weekend Luxembourg, it’s as simple as that !
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