Marc Nager Reflects on Startup Weekend’s Ramen Noodle Phase 

June 2, 2014

12:00 pm

Today, merged with Startup America, Startup Weekend now has a core team of almost 60 people at UP Global. Their larger community includes about 7,000 volunteers and an extended network of about 20,000 people. But Startup Weekend was a startup once, too. 

“We lived the startup stereotype – ‘ramen noodles’ kind of days for about the first year and a half,” Nager told us at UP Summit. When Andrew Hyde sold Startup Weekend to him, Clint Nelson, and Franck Nouyrigat, the trio was living together in an 800-square-foot apartment with Nager’s girlfriend, and two of them (including Nager) were on unemployment. 

“It was every day just a grind and every day going to bed worrying, ‘Alright, am I going to get up and do this again tomorrow?’ And not really knowing and constantly questioning yourself,” said Nager. “It’s a hard thing, especially when you have people around you – getting on the phone with my grandmother and she’s like, ‘Are you doing okay? Are you selling drugs? What are you doing?’ I’m being facetious, but it’s a little bit of a scary journey.”

It was only two years in when they really started hiring people and made some key partnerships with companies like Google and the Kauffman Foundation – and finally started paying themselves. 

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact [email protected]

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