Participation process

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On Friday night people from the audience will pitch their ideas.  There can be as few as 10 pitches or as many as 100, we keep on pitching until everyone is done!  We will do a simple vote of everyone’s favorite 3 to narrow down the ideas to the top 20%. Individuals will then gather around the remaining ideas, discuss feasibility, and identify what they need as far as skill sets and resources to get to work and thus form teams.  People are free to work on any idea that interests them that they feel they will have a value-add for.

Once the teams are formed (on Friday night) they will get down to working (Saturday and Sunday) and the experience becomes unique to each individual. This all depends on the idea you’re working on and your role within the team but there are typically 5 states:

Team Meetings… planning, decision making and status updates
White boarding… in groups of 2 or 3 to flesh out an idea or solve a problem
In the zone… working solo to deliver your piece of the puzzle on time
Collaborating with mentors… validating your vision, seeking advice
Cruising… getting amongst other teams to gather more data, opinions, expertise

In addition to working on your idea, we will at times ask you to take a break and be inspired by insightful and motivating speakers. And of course there’s ample time for eating, drinking, sleeping…

The only certainty of course is that for 54 hours the energy level in the room is going to be super high and

Pitches

Pitches 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 won’t 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 pitches, you will have more time to mingle.  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.

The below link has more information about the event and necessary information like what things to bring:

http://startupweekend.org/about/firsttimer/