How Techstars Startup Weekend engages personal connections with live-technology

Find out how Toasty helped Alexandru Agatinei foster real conversations at Startup Weekend Foggia

Techstars Startup Weekend is the largest global organization to make startup magic happen. Hosted in 150 countries with 2900 events up to date, all 193,000+ community members have been through 3 days of highs, lows, funs and pressure that make up life at a startup.

Surrounded by amazing mentors, facilitators, investors and co-founders, you are able to connect, learn and build what it takes to create a real company. By nature, people prefer to stick to their own friends during events. “I’m always seeking ways to help people to engage more and better. I want to give them a reason to talk to each other” said Alexandru Agatinei, Global Facilitator at Techstars Weekend.

After finding out about Toasty, Alexandru decided to use our ice-breaking feature with 80 people to split them into groups to have meaningful conversations at Startup Weekend Foggia. As a result, he was able to create more human interactions by arranging teams and learn valuable insights by reviewing Toasty Analytics. Get inspired by Alexandru’s Startup Weekend Foggia’s story. 

Battling with giving people a reason to talk to each other 

As a Techstars Startup Weekend facilitator and community builder, Alexandru is constantly seeking new technology to enhance his workshops. On the side, he runs conferences for 2000 people and gathers 100 people 12-15 times in Romania. He always has a feeling that people need to engage more. 

How did Alexandru give people a reason to talk at Startup Weekend Foggia?

He used Toasty. 

Alexandru believed in a solution that correlates to people’s daily habits, which is an activity that requires using their cell phones before entering meaningful conversations.

Following the Startup Weekend format, he chose to use Toasty during the morning of Day 2. If you didn’t know how the 3 day format goes – Day 1 is where people pitch their ideas and form teams. Day 2 and Day 3 are the crucial days where people work together in teams on a project. Occasionally people tend to not come back and will change teams during Day 2. He took the opportunity to use Toasty to connect people with each other based on their similar interests (match) and differences (separate) so that they can finalize the teams and kick off the project. 

The two questions asked were:

  1. Your friend proposes Karaoke – how do you react? (match)
  2. Do you already have a startup? (separate) 

“My intention was to keep it short, get them into groups. Once they saw the QR code and scanned, they thought it was a formal request but to find out they were answering two silly questions. The crowd started to live up and people started to warm up to each other” – Alexandru Agatinei 

After grouping people together based on their answers, he wanted everyone to speak to each other about their background and expertise. After 5 minutes, he also had the audience switch from one to another and eventually created a balanced team.

If you would like to give your audience a reason to talk and engage personal connections, jump on a 30 minute call with our interaction expert, Vanessa Mok, to hear how it could be like at your events.