Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?
The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success?
Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.
The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.
All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.
Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!
Why Attend A Startup Weekend?
Call us biased, but we think that there are dozens of reasons why you should come to a Startup Weekend! Since we know your time is valuable, we’ll only list the top eight:
Startup Weekends are all about learning through the act of creating. Don’t just listen to theory, build your own strategy and test it as you go. Use the resources in this toolkit to help you get started: http://startupweekend.org/resources/
Build your network:
This isn’t just a happy-hour. Startup Weekend attracts your community’s best makers and do-ers. By spending a weekend working to build scalable companies that solve real-world problems, you will build long-lasting relationships and possibly walk away with a job or even an investor.
We all know it’s not just about the idea – it’s about the team. Startup Weekend is hands down the best way to find someone you can actually launch a startup with.
Learn a new skill:
Step outside of your comfort zone. With a whole weekend dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Startup Weekends are perfect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or just try something different.
Actually launch a business:
Over 36% of Startup Weekend startups are still going strong after 3 months. Roughly 80% of participants plan on continuing working with their team or startup after the weekend.
Get face time with thought leaders:
Local tech and startup leaders participate in Startup Weekends as coaches and judges. Get some one-on-one time with the movers and shakers in your community.
Save money & get stuff:
Startup Weekends typically cost between $75 and $150 (less for students). Your ticket covers seven meals, snack, access to exclusive resources from our sponsors, and of course, all the coffee you can drink.
Join a global community:
Join over 45,000 Startup Weekend alumni, all on a mission to change the world.
What Happens On Friday, Saturday and Sunday?
Participants arrive around 5PM, begin networking, and eat dinner. After an ice-breaking game and a short introduction by the Facilitator, there will typically be 1 short speech on practical topics ranging from Pitching Best Practices to Lean Startup Methodology and more. Then the “Pitchfire” will commence: anyone intending to pitch will have 60 seconds to give their best pitch. No presentations or props needed for Friday. It will just be you and a mic. After pitches are finished, all attendees will vote on their favorites, and using these votes the top ideas will be selected to be worked on over the weekend. Teams will form organically, consolidate, and begin working.
Teams will work all day, with the occasional breaks to eat or listen to 1-2 short talks. Coaches will be circulating to provide concrete advice in the field of their expertise for those teams that want it.
Teams will work uninterrupted from morning until mid-afternoon. They’ll begin wrapping up their product/prototype and/or presentation around 3:30 PM to do tech-checks and practice their demonstration. After all Judges have arrived presentations will begin: each team typically has 5 minutes plus 2-3 minutes Q&A from the jury (this varies occasionally.) The jury will select the top teams, give out prizes (if applicable), and the event ends (and celebration begins!)
The winning team will receive 1 year of incubation in the LaunchBox Student Business Incubation program through the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NACET).
Friday, Feb 8
5:00pm Registration Starts
5:30pm Dinner & Networking
5:50pm Welcome & Speakers
6:00pm Pitches Start
6:30pm Attendees vote for the top ideas
6:45pm Teams start forming and discussing ideas
7:00pm Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow
Saturday, Feb 9
8:00am Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
8:30am Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
1:00pm Call for needs & skills
2:00pm Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
7:30pm Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
10:00pm Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow
Sunday, Feb 10
8:00am Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
9:00am Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
10:00pm Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
12:00pm Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
3:30pm FINAL PRESENTATIONS
4:30pm Judging & awards
4:45pm Go home!
Russ Yelton | President & CEO, Northern AZ Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology
Art Babbott | Coconino County Superviser, District 1
Tommy O'Connor | Marketing and Advertising Coach
Bryan McLaren | Sustainability Coach
Cindy Wilson | Graphic Design Coach
Aaron Dragushan | Entrepreneur