Do I have to have an idea at Startup Weekend? No. About 1/3 of the participants have an idea that they pitch. The ideas are pitched in a session of rapid fire 60 second pitches on Friday night. After the pitching teams are formed around the ideas that people thing are interesting to explore.
Presentations on Friday night will be in a “pitch-fire” format, which means you will have just 60 seconds to get the audience interested in your idea. You will have no slides or props – just a microphone and a smile. You will not have time to go over features, so just focus on the core of the idea and make your enthusiasm contagious. Here is the format for pitches that we recommend:
- Who are you and what is your background? (5-10 Seconds)
- What is the problem that you product is solving? Or, begin with a story (10-20 Seconds)
- Explain the product and how it solves the problem (10-20 seconds)
- Who do you need on your team (a developer, marketing, designer?) (5-10 seconds)
- Finally, make up a name for your startup so the facilitator can give it a title
Voting & Forming Teams
After the pitches, you will have time to mingle and ask about details of the ideas. If you pitched an idea, this is your time to start recruiting others that are interested in your idea. If you did not pitch, or if you are having trouble finding others to join your team, use this time to seek out those that pitched other ideas that you found interesting.
Next, the crowd votes on their favorite pitches. This is a simply a way to encourage quick team forming. This is by no means an exclusive process and if you pitch an idea and it is not voted as one of the top ideas, you are more than welcome to work on it if you find some other people who want to work on the idea with you. From there we will form teams and these are the startup ideas that will be worked on over the weekend.
Watch this video to see some examples of how a pitch can be done: