Last month when Startup Weekend and Startup America joined forces to launch UpGlobal, one of the big factors was expanding the Startup America vision across the globe. Startup Weekend holds 54 hour hackathon style events worldwide every weekend. To date they’ve held over 600 events in 113 countries and 325 cities. Now they are looking forward to the first Startup Weekend Baghdad.
Baghdad has been rebuilding for years and is still one of the most violent regions in the world. GeekWire reminds us that in May alone over 1000 civilians and security officials were killed. But that won’t stop entrepreneurs, designers and developers from coming together to startup.
The Baghdad event will start this Thursday June 27th (Friday in Baghdad) and continue for 54 hours.
Startup Weekend is no stranger to violence and they don’t let it interrupt their events. In countries facing war, violence, and even poverty, entrepreneurs escape by coming together, collaborating and working on companies. Even missile attacks last November in Israel couldn’t stop one of the largest Startup Weekend groups from pushing through.
During that Startup Weekend in Israel it wasn’t until the third missile alarm and a missile striking a building just 12 yards away that organizers finally caved in and postponed the event:
After the first missile alarm we didn’t change our minds and it was amazing to see everyone starting to carry tables and chairs into the safe zones (Shelters) inside the building just so they can keep on working on their projects. Sometimes, the entrepreneurial spirit can overcome fear. It was so inspiring to see how everyone are focused on what seems to be the most important thing at the moment – how to take their idea and make it into a successful venture.
But sometimes reality just hits you in the face. At about 8:30PM, after the third missile alarm and one rocket hitting a few dozen yards away from the building where we were hosted, we had to submit the safety order by the Israeli Army and the city’s representatives who told us to shut down and cancel the rest of the event.
The current in violence in Iraq is not stopping Othmane Rahmouni a senior product manager with Microsoft Advertising, from heading to the middle east to help advise and mentor the 200 participants.
Geekwire reports that Rahmouni is a volunteer with Mercy Corps an agency that has partnered with Startup Weekend to organize events in the developing world.
Find out more about Startup Weekend Baghdad here.