What's Next?

The Switchboard – An online, interactive directory of Bloomington’s resources for entrepreneurs. The site includes profiles of local organization willing to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses as well as local entrepreneurs bloomingtonswitchboard.com.

Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association – If you live or have a business located in the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Zone, you may be eligible for certain grants or professional development scholarships. For more information check out https://bloomington.in.gov/m/viewPage.php?docType=document;document_id=166.

Cowork Btown – A local coworking space with a variety of membership options. More info at coworkbtown.com.

Blue Burro Workspace – A new coworking space in downtown Bloomington with flexible pricing options. More information at http://www.bburro.com/workspace/.

Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship – Provides free consulting to entrepreneurs and small businesses as well as entrepreneurship classes at Ivy Tech. Apply online to meet with Cook Center consultants at https://ivytech.edu/bloomington/5935.html.

Small Business Development Center – Provides free consulting to entrepreneurs and small businesses, gives clients access to market research tools, presents quarterly workshops, and assists businesses with Quickbooks. Sign up for an appointment at http://www.isbdc.org/services/.

Bloomington Economic Development Corp – Houses the B-Start Pre-Accelerator program for student startup companies and provides assistance to business owners. http://comparebloomington.us/entrepreneurship/

Bloomington Technology Partnership – Partnership for Bloomington’s tech businesses. Provides programs like Code School, job listings in the tech sector, and business assistance http://bloomingtontech.com.

City of Bloomington, Department of Economic and Sustainable Development – Assists business owners in navigating local business regulations and provides resources like business academy online courses http://bloomington.in.gov/m/viewPage.php?docType=document;document_id=2113.

IU Intellectual Property Clinic – The clinic provides a range of IP counseling services to clients judged to be in need of pro bono services. The clinic is certified for both patents and trademarks under the USPTO’s Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Project. They also provide PatentConnect for Hoosiers. The project will link Indiana entrepreneurs with patent lawyers who have volunteered to provide pro bono patent prosecution services http://ip.indiana.edu/pro-bono-services/.

VisionTech Angel Network – A statewide angel network with a Bloomington chapter. More information at http://visiontech-partners.com.

Hanapin Marketing – Hanapin Marketing is an industry-leading digital marketing agency that specializes in just one thing: pay-per-click advertising (PPC). And it’s our objective to make everyone better at it: ourselves, our clients, our peers—the entire industry. http://www.hanapinmarketing.com.

Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation – Headquartered at the Kelley School of Business, JCEI has nationally-ranked academic programs provide you with a wide range of real-world entrepreneurial experiences through cross-campus initiatives with other university departments and involvement with the business community. More information at http://kelley.iu.edu/JCEI/index.html.

Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization – Principal undergraduate student organization for entrepreneurship at IU facebook.com/iuceo.

Startup Weekend Bloomington Prizes

The top teams at Startup Weekend Bloomington 2015 are going to win these awesome prizes:

  • 1st place student-led team will win a spot in the B-Start Pre-Accelerator Program www.b-start.org
  • 1st place team will win a 3 month free partial membership to Cowork Btown www.coworkbtown.com
  • 1st place team will win free consulting with the IU IP Clinic http://ip.indiana.edu/pro-bono-services/
  • 1st place team will win a free pack of Uel Zing Coffee http://uelzing.com
  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place teams will win consultation time with The Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship https://ivytech.edu/bloomington/entrepreneurship/ and the south central Small Business Development Center http://www.isbdc.org/locations/south-central-isbdc/

All teams will give 5 minute pitches on Sunday evening and judges will evaluate them based on business model, customer validation, and execution. Prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams.Thanks to all of our community partners who donated these prizes!

Map for Startup Weekend Bloomington 2015

Hey everybody!

Here is a handy map for the weekend with both bus and driving directions.


If you plan on riding the bus, the 6, 6L, and 9 all have stops close by.  If you’re coming from campus, you’ll want to get off in front of Sushi Bar, just before the bypass.  Then you’ll walk catty-corner to the CIB and walk in either entrance on the east or west side.  Coming from the west has an easier time because the bus stops directly in front of the CIB.

If you are driving, there is plenty of parking directly in front of the CIB as well as the secondary lot just east.  Parking enforcement will not patrol these two lots, so you are free to park in any valid parking spot, i.e. not a handicap spot or on the curb.

Should you have any questions about parking, just message us on Facebook or Twitter, or email the organizers at bloomington@startupweek.org.

Can’t wait to see everyone!

FAQ Startup Weekend Btown

Do I have to pitch an idea?

No, but we encourage you to! You can pitch an idea you’ve been thinking about for years, or something last minute you think of during the event. It’s a great experience and invaluable practice for public speaking.

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.

What should I bring? 

  • Laptop
  • Power cord
  • Business cards
  • Camera – take pictures and video!
  • Optional: A second monitor, keyboard, etc…. set yourself up to be productive!
  • Lots of creative energy!

What if I can’t be there for a couple hours? Do I have to participate all three days?

Apart from Organizers, selected Coaches, Speakers, and press, everyone who attends the event is expected to participate all three days. This is important not only to preserve the ‘vibe’ of the weekend (“no talk, all action”) but also to minimize distractions/disruptions for working teams.  However, if you can’t be there for just a couple hours on one of the days because of a commitment it is fine – as long as you warn your team at the beginning of the event.

Can I pay at the door?

No, you cannot pay at the door of the event – you need to purchase the ticket online. If you are physically unable to pay online, reach out to the local organizers to arrange payment.

Do I need a team?

Everyone who attends the event as an attendee is expected to participate on a team (teams will form around the top 8-10 ideas pitched by the end of Friday night, you can choose which team you’d like to work on). This is important not only to preserve the mission of Startup Weekend (teamwork!) but also to minimize distractions/disruptions for all working teams.

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.

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. If you decide to do so, however, please tell the event Organizer, as this may be an issue regarding your teams’ eligibility for prizes.

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? Do you have a minimally viable product?)
  • 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.)
  • Live product demos
  • Skits

Why is it a competition?

Competition is not a central theme of Startup Weekend, and this is often reflected in the broad, horizontal allocation of prizes and general flexibility/leniency of the event ‘rules.’ If and when the competitive aspect comes into conflict with the positive atmosphere we try to cultivate, we consistently choose the latter. 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.

Are teams expected to continue after the event?

Whether or not you continue to work on the idea with some or all of your team is completely up to you. Approximately 25% of Startup Weekend participants continue working on their idea with all of their team.

If you have any other questions visit our website or email us at bloomington@startupweekend.org

SWBtown15 Press Release

Startup Weekend Bloomington to Help Entrepreneurs Launch Businesses During 54 Hour Event

 Bloomington–Startup Weekend Bloomington is hosting its annual entrepreneurship event on November 6th-8th at the IU Cyberinfrastructure Building. Entrepreneurs, designers, developers and startup enthusiasts are invited to participate in this event to take their innovative business ideas from concept to launch in 54 hours. Tickets are available at bit.ly/swbtown15.

The goal of Startup Weekend is to provide the time, space, knowledge, and resources to help potential entrepreneurs gain the experience they need to start successful ventures. The event takes place over a span of two and half days. On Friday night, attendees take the mic to pitch their ideas- typically web and mobile applications – to the group in 60 seconds or less. After groups form around the best ideas, the rest of the weekend is spent transforming those ideas into viable companies with the help of coaches and seasoned startup entrepreneurs. “One of the greatest benefits Startup Weekend has to offer to entrepreneurs is the opportunity to interact with local CEOs, founders, investors and startup veterans who coach the teams during the weekend. Working with these coaches not only gets the teams advice from the experts, but helps connect them with all the local resources the growing startup community in Bloomington has to offer,” said event organizer Meghan Turner. By Sunday, teams are ready to present their ideas in front of a panel of judges who award prizes to the winning team.

New this year, Startup Weekend Bloomington is partnering with the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) to offer the first place student startup a spot in their B-Start program. B-Start is a pre-accelerator program of the BEDC for IU and Ivy Tech student startups. “Bloomington’s business community and its leaders are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, and Startup Weekend is an integral part of our ecosystem. Connecting the B-Start program with Startup Weekend Bloomington allows us to connect emerging startups with others passionate about creating jobs in our community,” said BEDC Vice President Dana Palazzo.

Student tickets for the event are $25 and regular tickets are $40. The event runs from 6:00 pm Friday, November 6th to 8:00 pm Sunday, November 8th at the IU Cyberinfrastructure building at 2709 E 10th Street. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit bit.ly/swbtown15.

Startup Weekend Bloomington is sponsored by Innovate Indiana, The Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association, the Innovate Indiana Fund, The Gayle and Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Bloomington, Humanetrix Foundation, Inc., Hanapin Marketing, BEDC, and the City of Bloomington Utilities Department.


Startup Weekend is a community program of Techstars, a global organization that helps entrepreneurs build great businesses. The mission of Startup Weekend is to empower individuals and create economic growth by providing experiential education to potential entrepreneurs all over the world. The annual Bloomington Startup Weekend event is run by a team of local volunteer organizers. For more information about Startup Weekend, visit www.startupweekend.org.

Parking for Startup Weekend Bloomington

Startup Weekend Parking Map – 2014

Here’s a map to help Startup Weekend Bloomington 2014 participants find free parking for the event!

Buy Tickets HERE!

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Prepping Your Friday Pitch

One of the most important parts of Startup Weekend is the Pitch Fire session on Friday night. Anyone who wants to pitch gets 60 seconds to convince the crowd that their business idea is interesting, feasible, and meaningful. Teams will form around the top ideas pitched, so your pitch has to be one of the best! Sound intimidating? It doesn’t have to be. Check out a few of our tips to help you craft the perfect pitch.

6 Elements of a Good Pitch

1. Focus on the problem you want to solve

How does your business idea solve a problem for you customer? Why is this an important problem to solve? How did this problem inspire you to create a business idea? This is usually the most important part of your pitch!

2. Mention how you think the problem should be solved

What’s the solution to the problem? What product or service are you planning to create? Only spend a few seconds on this! You have to entire weekend to work through a solution.

3. Talk about your secret sauce

What’s unique about your product or service? Do you bring any special skills or knowledge to the table?

4. Tell us what you already know

Have you already done a little work on your business? Market research, customer validation, a business plan?

5. Showcase your winning personality

Show your potential team members how awesome you’ll be to work with! People want to be on teams with passionate, motivated, and interesting leaders.Be open and welcoming of new ideas.

6. Show up with an idea that does something meaningful

How will your business make your customers lives better? Will your business make the world a better place to live?

4 Pitch Pitfalls

1. Don’t go into too much detail about how your solution works. That’s what the rest of the weekend is for!

2. Don’t spend too long on your personal background, this pitch is about the problem you’re solving.

3. Don’t be boring, make people remember you and make sure you seem fun/good to work with

4. Don’t leave the stage without telling the crowd who you need on your team (designers, developers, marketers, etc.) and make sure to name your pitch/idea!Something people can remember later.

Anatomy of a Pitch

A pitch should be unique to you, but some structure never hurts as a place to start. A simple template may look like:

[10 sec] Introduce and sell yourself
[20-30 sec] Describe the problem you want to solve
[10-20 sec] Describe your solution (e.g. explain the product)
[10 sec] What do you need to be successful during the weekend? ( people, skills, tools, etc )

We hope this helps you get prepared for SW Btown! We’ll see you next weekend.


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