1. How does Startup Weekend work?
Startup Weekends are 54 hours of networking, building and learning. You start with an idea, find a team, learn from the mentors, build and launch a product whilst developing a bunch of new skills and friendships for the future. Startup Weekend is a global initiative aimed at strengthening our entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The event is being held at Bizdojo, 38 Vivian Street, Wellington. Doors open at 4.30pm on Friday 27th July. There will be more info about the programme, speakers, mentors etc, so keep in touch through this blog and via Twitter @swwlg
2. Can I bring along an existing idea or business?
You may have been thinking about your idea for some time, but if you already have some business partners or have written substantial amounts of code, then we suggest you leave that project at home. Startup Weekend is about starting something new and developing new skills and networks that will benefit you in the future. This is an open, public event, so don’t expect anyone to sign a non-disclosure agreement and do not pitch an idea if you require confidentiality.
3. You mentioned code – does my idea have to be Internet or software related?
Absolutely not! Many Startup Weekend projects do indeed involve software, websites or apps, because a basic prototype can often be launched relatively quickly. But that certainly doesn’t preclude other kinds of business ideas.
4. How do I pick a team and what if my idea doesn’t fly?
Businesses with strong founding teams generally achieve much greater success through leveraging a variety of skill sets. After the fast pitches each idea will get posted on the wall. We will provide marker pens and paper, or you can prepare a simple poster beforehand. Ideas that attract a foundational team will go forward in the event. Some ideas will not go forward however. In this case, we strongly urge participants to join other teams and gain value from learning throughout the weekend. A small number of people choose to leave the event at this point. There is no refund in such cases.
Use your time at Startup Weekend to develop new stuff and meet capable people with whom you can develop these ideas with, and potentially work on other projects in the future as well.
4. What materials do I need? What about meals?
Bring laptops, mobile, tablets and other computing gear plus writing and drawing materials if required. Healthy main meals, tea, coffee and juice are included in the ticket price and will be delivered daily. We even have our own coffee barista! A refillable water bottle can be handy. Bring your own snack foods. There are several good cafes and a convenience store near to the venue. If you need medications, obviously bring these and let the organisers know about any special dietary needs. Here’s a useful article on this topic from Ursula Hoult about her Startup Weekend experience. Make sure you wear your registration tag every day.
5. Is there wireless Internet available?
Yes. There’s wireless available for web-surfing, researching, collaborating and testing. It is not provided for bulk downloading of software, games or movies etc. Please respect our hosts who are kindly providing this service. Usage is monitored and abusers will be asked to leave the premises immediately. If in doubt, please check with an organiser.
6. What happens about equity and shareholdings?
This is a discussion for Friday evening, after you form a team and before you build anything. It is a good idea to spell out ownership arrangements and founder roles/responsibilities and even write up a short shareholder agreement. The mentors can advise you on this. Startup Weekend organisers accept no responsibility for any perceived or actual consequential future losses or failures in regards to any business that is formed during the event.
6. How do I go about presenting?
On Friday evening there is an opportunity to pitch your great idea to the crowd. You have only 1 minute, so you need to be very succinct. Tell us four things, who you are, what problem you are addressing, how your approach or technology solves that problem, what skills you are looking for in potential team members. So that’s 15 seconds on each point! Pitching an idea is entirely optional, you can simply join a team that you like on the night. Around a third to one half of participants give an initial pitch and some do more than one. On Sunday evening each team will have 5 minutes to present their project to the judging panel. Here are some tips on giving a final presentation.
7. Who is organising this event?
Dave Moskovitz (team leader, global SW facilitator and Chairman at Webfund) @davemosk
Nick Churchouse (media guy and venture manager for business incubator Creative HQ) @churchouse
Katherine Field (community manager, Bizdojo) @kathfromwelly
Paul Spence (Co-founder iWantMyName, Chairman Unlimited Potential, editor NZ Startup Digest) @GeniusNet
8. Where Can I Find Out More Info?