Preparations for Kuwait’s first Co-Founder Speed Dating event were under way. The banners were ready. The Astroturf circle in Dasman Complex’s courtyard had been booked. Brand new tables and chairs had been delivered. Only a few badges for participants were left to be prepared. We spent the entire work week waiting for a definite weather forecast that would help us decide whether the event should be held outdoors or not, but there was still a chance it would rain. We decided to take the risk. It was too beautiful outside!
The lamp posts illuminated the tables and chairs that were arranged along the circumference of the Astroturf circle. The air carried the fragrance of the flowers placed on the tables. All the while, the storm clouds gathered menacingly. We hoped for the best.
The Co-Founder Speed Dating event was held to help people with ideas (founders) connect with people with talent, designers (hipsters), business developers (hustlers), and developers (hackers). Starting a business is tough, and it can be challenging to find a person who not only believes in your idea, but is capable of helping you see it through. If you have a promising idea for a startup, it’s crucial to have a co-founder you can rely on to build on the idea and divide the work (and stress!) with. Similarly, more and more people with skills today are seeking to create something substantial and lasting, instead of working a 9 to 5 job in a company.
At the event, founders were seated at tables while people with talent rotated. Each founder and person with talent had 3 minutes to introduce themselves and pitch their idea and skills to each other. When the buzzer rang, the person with talent had to move to the next founder.
Trouble was, the buzzer we had wasn’t loud enough. We improvised with a team member whistling piercingly every three minutes. It worked!
Just when the event was in full swing, our worst fears were realized. It started drizzling. The participants were too involved in their conversations to pay the rain any heed, but we soon had to move inside Sirdab Lab to take cover. The conversation however, kept flowing effortlessly. It was as if nothing had happened.
The positive vibes were electrifying. People enjoyed the atmosphere so much, they volunteered to wipe down their chairs and tables themselves to be able to sit back outside as soon as it stopped raining. And so we moved back to the outdoor seating.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that despite all the impediments we faced, the event was a great success with all the connections that were made. One of the participants, Mohammed Boland mentioned, “I really got what I wanted. I wanted to meet new people, new designers, new developers, and I got to do that. I had fun. I wish Sirdab Lab would do more of this. It’s very community-oriented and gets people from different businesses and different professions to come together and build something.”
Another participant, Wael Al-Ahmady, found a few prospects during the Co-Founder Speed Dating. “Sirdab helps open doors that were not opened before. The event was symbolic of what Sirdab does.”
As for me? If there’s anything I learnt from helping organize the event, it’s to never give a problem more time than it’s worth. Focus on finding the solution.
Special thanks to our event partners YourAOK and Google Developer Group Kuwait, and Tree of Life for sponsoring the gorgeous flowers. You can still smell their aroma at Sirdab Lab!
Sirdab Lab is a combination of an accelerator program, a co-working space, and community events. It offers entrepreneurs comprehensive and continuous support in achieving their goals of starting a business. Follow @sirdab_lab on Instagram or visit http://sirdab-lab.com to stay updated on all they do. Stay tuned for the next Co-Founder Speed Dating event!