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At the end of Startup Weekend, your team is expected to present for 5 minutes in front of a panel of experienced local entrepreneurs. Your 5 minute presentation should include both a demonstration of your MVP Prototype AND a brief overview of your business strategy (i.e. all of the thinking you put into your startup).

Every time I organize or facilitate a Startup Weekend I receive tons of questions about what a good final presentation looks like. So here’s a little guidance:

 

1. BROWSE YOUTUBE FOR EXAMPLES

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of example final presentations on YouTube from Startup Weekends around the world. You might have to adjust search terms to find the ones in English, but they are a great reference point.

A few of my favorites are below.

SW EDU Seattle – Lighthouse – Geo-location tracking for special needs children

Great job painting a picture of the problem, very impressive demo

SW Omaha – SimplyFi – Simplifying wifi expansion and management

Overall great energy and enthusiasm, great job knowing the flow, good articulation of the problem being solved.

SW Saratoga – Aqua – Improving sanitation and reducing water consumption in developing markets

Great example of a rudimentary prototype which is NOT digital! Keep in mind not every startup is an app.

SW San Francisco – Words with Bears – Language learning thorough motion via MSFT Kinect

Great demo, great job painting a picture of the opportunity and white space in the market, also a pretty funny name.

This slide deck from fellow Startup Weekend community member Nick Stevens has some very practical guidance on what to include in your presentation:

 

2. YOU WILL NOT HAVE TIME INCLUDE EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO SHARE

This 5 minute time limit will be STRICTLY MAINTAINED and you will be clapped off-stage at the end of the time.

In that 5 minutes, you will have to:

1) Demo your MVP Prototype

2) Consider many questions that the judges are interested in:

– What research was conducted to validate the problem & solution?
– Who is the target audience?
– How will the company acquire new customers?
– Who is the competition?
– How does the company differentiate itself?
– How will the company make money?
– Why was the product designed the way it was?
– How user-friendly & aesthetically pleasing is the product?
– What does a future roadmap look like?
– Were you able to conduct a demo?
– And more!

As you work on your final presentations, you should ask yourself these questions and more, then, be selecting about determine which information to include or omit from your final presentation. Work with your team to determine which points help you tell the most compelling story about your startup.  Use those as the foundation for your final presentation.

Anything you leave out, you should anticipate a judge asking during Q&A. Immediately following your presentation, the judges will have 5-10 minutes to ask you follow-up and clarifying questions about your startup.

 

3. MAKE THE JUDGES REALLY FEEL THE PROBLEM 

Many teams will over-emphasize their solution or technology in their final presentations. I believe strongly that this is over-rated.

I believe that one of the most effective things that a team can do is paint a very focused, emotional, yet concise picture of the big problem to be solved or the opportunity at hand.

If you can pull at my heart strings and make me truly see and believe in the bigger picture, it’s much easier jump for me as a judge, audience member, of consumer-at-large to land on your startup as the only possible solution to the problem.

Doing this shows that you understand your user, you’ve developed true empathy with them, and are thus able to design a solution that truly meets their needs.

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