Bitten by the entrepreneurial bug? Have you been thinking about starting a business, but haven’t gotten there quite yet? Join us at StartUp Weekend! Come to a space where you meet like-minded people and spend the weekend in an environment of innovation, learning, connectivity, and passion.
StartUp Weekend is a template event that takes place across the world in the same way, every time.
This event takes place in a powerful and disciplined format to present, develop, and test a new business idea. In this outline, you will learn the basics of StartUp Weekend and its various aspects.
The theme of the event:
This edition of StartUp Weekend will see Bermuda joining many other locations worldwide as it hosts an event under the theme: tourism/travel. Attendees will be encouraged to think about new ideas to improve the travel industry to Bermuda and to better visitor experiences.
Other venues hosting similar events are:
· Gold Coast, Australia
· Cairns, Australia
· Tirana, Albania
· Sevilla, Spain
· Bordeaux, France
· Bogota, Colombia
What is Startup Weekend:
Startup Weekend brings together people who want to learn how to start a business. In the span of 54-hours, you can come up with an idea, find a team, and start a business… all in a weekend!
Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on experiments where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable. Most events worldwide have about 75 attendees, half of which have technical backgrounds and the other half have business backgrounds.
The event is strongly tech-oriented. Globally, approximately 95% of all ideas are mobile or web-focused, and given the short time-frame, even teams developing non-tech ideas are encouraged to focus on a tech-related deliverable (i.e., website, app, etc.) by Sunday.
Throughout the event, you will be surrounded with a full complement of supporters to make sure you have what you need to make this a memorable and productive weekend:
The StartUp Weekend facilitator will provide you with guidance and answers throughout the weekend, focusing on specific concepts and providing tools to help you as you work.
The StartUp Weekend coaches will provide you with dedicated sessions so that you can privately discuss your specific project and run any difficulties through them.
The organizing team will make sure you have the right resources and supplies so that you can work comfortably and seamlessly.
StartUp Weekend always takes place as follows:
Before the event: Sign up online. Put all of your information in and make your payment. Your ticket will entitle you to food and drink for the weekend, in addition to all your stationery needs.
Friday: Be on time so that you can register, get to know the place and the participants, and have dinner. When announced, come on the stage and pitch your idea for a new business. You have one minute: 60 seconds to make an impression.
Once everyone has presented their brief pitch, it’s time to vote for the winning ideas. You get to select which project you think has the most potential, and those with the highest number of votes become the start-ups of the weekend. The rest of the attendance join the winning ideas, and that’s how teams are formed.
For the next 54 hours, you and your team will develop the business idea, stress test it, and come up with the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) that you will present to the judging panel on Sunday night. Therefore, your team has to be cross-functional and balanced: surround yourself with business people (marketing, finance, law) as well as those with technical expertise (developers, coders, designers) so that your project can be properly developed.
Before the end of the night, your team will have started developing the business idea. Exchange emails and phone numbers before you leave: you will likely continue on overnight, so that you’re ready for the next phase when you go back into the StartUp Weekend space on Saturday morning!
Saturday and Sunday: With the help and guidance of the StartUp Weekend facilitator, you and your team will be led through the most important phases of the work you have to do over the weekend.
You will sufficiently develop your project to have a MVP that is ready to be stress-tested. You will be encouraged to go out into Town and ask members of the public about it: you will do your own market research right then and there, and take the feedback you’ve garnered back into the StartUp Weekend space so that you can fine-tune your MVP.
Just as importantly, coaches will be available with dedicated sessions so that your team can talk to them about your specific project, and privately. Coaches are subject-matter experts, entrepreneurs in their own right, or simply passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation and have something significant to contribute to the quality of the event.
Sunday evening: You can now present your project in front of the wider audience and a panel of independent judges. You have five minutes to do so, plus 2-3 minutes Q&A from the judges (approximately).
While there are no specific requirements in terms of what teams should have accomplished by Sunday, it’s in your best interest to plan your execution around what you’ll be judged for on Sunday:
· Customer Validation (did you vet your business?)
· Execution and Design (what did you build?)
· Business Model (do you have a plan for the future?)
Using any medium you think will make the biggest impact and illustrate your start-up idea the best. Some of the most common presentations include any combination of the following (in no particular order):
· Wireframes or fully developed website;
· Mobile Apps (from mock-ups to skeletons to fully functional)
· Slide decks (PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, etc.)
· Videos (i.e. product demonstrations, etc.)
· Live product demos
There will be prizes available for the winners, but the most significant take-aways from this weekend will be the start-up project and the valuable experiences lived, in addition to the contacts made during the StartUp Weekend.
Can I pitch my existing business?
Startup Weekend is designed to be the most effective platform for growing new businesses from the ground up over the course of a weekend. An existing business will not qualify as a start-up under those conditions.
Do I have to pitch an idea to attend?
No, but we encourage you to! You can pitch an idea you've been thinking about for years, or something last minute you think of during the event. It's a great experience and invaluable practice for public speaking.
What if my pitch is not selected?
Consider StartUp Weekend to be a three-day intensive start-up course. If your idea is not selected, you will still immensely benefit from sticking around and joining the team of one of the ideas which were. With the team, you will develop the project, test the product, go through the whole process and see it till the end. That, together with the contacts you will make, will be invaluable wins.
Do I have to participate all three days?
Apart from organizers, selected coaches, speakers, and press, everyone who attends the event is expected to participate all three days. This is important not only to preserve the ‘vibe’ of the weekend (“no talk, all action”) but also to minimize distractions/disruptions for working teams.
What should I bring?
Camera - take pictures and video!
Optional: A second monitor, keyboard, etc..... set yourself up to be productive!
Lots of creative energy
How do I prepare?
Do some research. Market research and background information will give you a better understanding of the problem you’re trying to solve.
Practice your pitch. You'll have 60 seconds to persuade other attendees to join your team. Make it clear, concise, and convincing!
Get familiar with our tools for the weekend, head over to startupweekend.org/resources
Get some rest.
Bring a friend! Events are better with good company.
Can I pay at the door?
In most cases you cannot pay at the door of the event. Organizers need to order the food and supplies in advance to meet the needs of the weekend.
What is the refund policy?
We do not refund tickets the week before the event, so that organizers can order and plan for food and supplies.