During the Weekend
What happens on Friday, Saturday and Sunday?
Friday: We start our crazy three-day startup adventure with at Munich ZOB (central bus station @ Hackerbrücke), 11am. We will warm up in the bus with inspirational speeches & tipps. After arriving at the location we will start with an ice-breaking game and a short introduction by the Facilitator. There will be 1 short speaker talk 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. You will also get two mentors for each team that will assist you personally and provide you with valuable advice throughout the weekend.
Saturday: Teams will work all day, with the occasional breaks to eat or listen to 1-2 short talks. Additional Experts will join us for Saturday and will be circulating to provide advice in the field of their specific expertise for those teams that want it. During Lunchtime you get the opportunity to hike up to the traditional Bavarian ‚Drehhütte‘ and get a clear head for fresh ideas (appr. 2h return). The nice and special thing about Startup Weekend Die Alm is that there is a very special atmosphere as everybody is staying at the location. This will give you the unique opportunity to focus on your goal to startup and network with like-minded people. After you have finished for the day, you may relax and have fun in the ping pong & party room. This is the perfect chance to exchange ideas with the other teams.
Sunday: Teams will work uninterrupted from morning until mid-afternoon in the beautiful surroundings of the Bavarian Alps. You’ll begin wrapping up your product/prototype and presentation around 1-2 PM to do tech-checks and practice your demonstration. After all Judges have arrived presentations will begin. Each team typically has 4 minutes plus 4 minutes Q&A from the judges. The judges will select the top teams and give out prizes. After that, a bus transfer will bring you back to Munich ZOB.
What types of ideas can I pitch?
Any business ideas are eligible (whether for profit, ‘social’ businesses, nonprofit organizations, etc.), however the event is strongly tech-oriented. Approximately 95% of all ideas are mobile or web focused, and given the short time-frame, we strongly recommend that even non-tech ideas focus on a tech-related deliverable (i.e., website) by Sunday.
Can I pitch more than one idea?
Depending on the number of ideas pitched and the schedule, you may or may not be able to pitch multiple ideas. Prioritize your ideas: pitch your best idea (and the one you have most prepared for) first.
Can I pitch my existing business?
No. Startup Weekend is designed to be the most effective platform for growing new businesses from the ground up over the course of a weekend. A key facet of the weekend – and a central value for participants – is the spirit of complete collaboration, buy-in, and ownership. We’ve found that having existing businesses in the mix undermines this spirit, in addition to creating an imbalance between those ideas that are truly ground-level. Nevertheless, you can think of a new addition to your business – maybe a new product for your portfolio?
How do I protect against people stealing my idea?
The short answer is that you can’t. If you’re very concerned, you can limit your pitch to the rough outline of the idea without giving away key information.The longer answer is that this is not something worth worrying about. Unless you are confident your idea is a ‘key-in-hand’, easy-to-implement innovation that hasn’t been thought of yet, the advantages gained from getting broad-based feedback and a strong team motivated by collective ownership far outweigh the remote risks of someone stealing and executing on your idea. The truth is that over 90% of ideas pitched at any given Startup Weekend have already been pitched – probably many times – in the past. This doesn’t imply that the idea isn’t a good one, but rather that what truly matters is how well you and your team execute the idea.
“One can steal ideas, but no one can steal execution or passion”
What if my idea doesn’t get selected?
The purpose of the Friday voting and crowdsourcing isn’t to exclude certain ideas, but simply to highlight the most popular and high-potential pitches and end up with a manageable number of teams – ensuring that each team has a variety of backgrounds and skills. If your idea isn’t selected but you’ve formed a team around the idea, you’re welcome to work on it over the weekend.
Am I expected to work for 54 hours?
No. At some events, certain teams will decide to work all through Friday and/or Saturday night, but this is by no means obligatory or expected.
What resources/assistance is provided over the weekend?
A key part of every Startup Weekend is the valuable advice and assistance provided by the event’s Speakers and Coaches. In the spirit of “No Talk, All Action” we try to keep talks short and sweet, focusing on practical issues (i.e. “how to give a persuasive pitch”, “best approaches to customer validation”) that can actually help you and your team better achieve your weekend goals. Mentors – community experts in various fields ranging from entrepreneurship, software development, marketing, finance, law, and more – dedicate their time to providing advice and actually rolling up their sleeves and working with teams.
What are we supposed to have accomplished by the end of the weekend?
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?)
As far as presenting goes, 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.)
Why is it a competition?
Competition is not a central theme of Startup Weekend, and this is reflected in the general flexibility of the event ‘rules.’ We do believe, however, that friendly competition is beneficial to all parties and, most importantly, more accurately reflects the realities of startup life. Just as it’s important to gather ‘real-world’ feedback over the weekend, it’s also important to have real-world pressures and obstacles.
All questions answered? So, what are you waiting for?
Haven’t applied yet? Register now: http://alm.startupgermany.org/#Tickets
… and you will receive an answer within a few hours!